This is Amber. She is a recreation therapist. She works with patients who are still in hospital and waiting to go into retirement homes or long term care by providing activities to stimulate and entertain patients.
“Before COVID-19, we did group socializing and ran activities such as baking classes and trivia. Since the start of the pandemic, the activity room has been closed and we are not allowed to do group activities. Instead, I do one to one sessions with each patient.
I’m definitely feeling like my time is a bit more stretched. In order to see the same amount of patients, I have to spend less time with each patient or I might not get to see everyone. However, since sessions are one to one, I can do more individualized therapy sessions. Some of these activities might include a spontaneous exercise session or virtual Bingo with other patients.
The hardest part has been the social isolation. There are two patients on separate floors who really enjoy each other’s company, and they aren’t allowed to visit each other due to hospital policies.
Another thing I feel particularly concerned about is that they can’t go outside because there’s no outdoor space for them. As a recreation therapist, we try to get patients to do activities they wouldn’t normally do in a hospital setting. With the rules surrounding the pandemic it’s much harder to do so.
I’m definitely curious about how long it will be until visitors can come to the hospital. Some of the patients have been here over a year, and it would be nice for them to see their loved ones.”