Televisitation Program Receives Support

St. Joseph’s Foundation of Thunder Bay was recently awarded a grant from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to support the Televisitation Program at all of St. Joseph’s Care Group sites.  

The Televisitation program began when COVID-19 caused restrictions to visitors across the sites of St. Joseph’s Care Group.   A main goal of the program was to help alleviate some of the isolation clients feel with the restrictions on visits.  The feelings of isolation and disconnection at a particularly vulnerable time have been incredibly difficult. Though not the same as an in-person visit, tele-visiting has become an effective and integral contribution to the overall wellbeing of clients and their loved ones. 

Thanks to the grant received from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation the Televisitation program is able to continue working in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bethammi and Hogarth Riverview Manor. It is a blessing to many loved ones and clients going forward into the fall with many uncertainties of what the cold & flu season will look like, on top of COVID-19 risks, that the option for tele-visiting will be available.

Televisits benefit the community and our clients in a number of ways:

  • A Healthier Community – Residents of long-term care homes are particularly vulnerable, and we want every possible option available to keep the virus out of our homes but still allow visiting in some form. Tele-visiting allows continued communication despite potential or confirmed exposure and health concerns.. 
  • Seeing is Believing – family is a critical part of the care team.  A virtual presence can make all the difference in the client’s health.  Families will see subtle but important differences that may reveal an unknown issue or signal a step on the road to wellness; something our staff value and appreciate in developing appropriate care plans.
  • Community Wellbeing – the ability to see each other has had a tremendous positive impact both for clients and for their extended families
  • A Responsible Choice – The social isolation and concern about becoming ill that has come with COVID-19 will last for some time.  When in-person visits resumed in long-term care, we heard from family members, particularly people with health concerns of their own, that they were ‘not ready’ to start visiting in person.  They wanted reassurance that televisits, along with window visits, would continue until they felt it safe to return.

St. Joseph’s Foundation and St. Joseph’s Care Group are grateful for the support received from The Emergency Community Support Fund, funded by the government of Canada to implement and sustain this program within our hospital and long-term care sites. 


screenshot of televisitation with Arthur