photo of Gala receiving gift

Gale receives a gift her brother dropped off through the Sinai Health Delivery initiative.

At Sinai Health, we recognize that families and caregivers play a critical role in a patient’s well-being and quality of life. As soon as the no visitor policy was put in place across hospitals in Ontario, the Patient Experience team began looking for solutions to keep families and patients connected. With the ongoing pandemic, the social and psychological support caregivers provide is more important than ever.

Here are stories of patients and family caregivers where Sinai Health is helping people stay in touch.

Sinai Health Delivery

Len Walters was thrilled when he received a phone call asking if he wanted to deliver anything to the hospital. Like other caregivers, Len used to visit often to drop-off laundry and gifts to his sister Gale, a patient at Bridgepoint. To make sure patients could continue receiving care packages, the team organized Sinai Health Delivery. Caregivers leave their gifts at the hospital entrances, which are then hand-delivered to patients by our teams. Every week, at least 200 packages filled with clothes, books and magazines and non-perishable food items are distributed to patients at both Mount Sinai and Bridgepoint.

Virtual Connections

Across Sinai Health, many virtual visits have been made possible by partnering with vendors to provide phones, iPads and televisions to patients. After several weeks in isolation, a 95-year-old patient at Mount Sinai was able to connect with her niece for a social call. The opportunity greatly brightened both their spirits.

Meanwhile at Bridgepoint, the Di Leos marked their 59-year wedding anniversary through an online party. By his son’s request, the recreation therapy team decorated Mr. Di Leo’s room and helped set up a Zoom meeting. His wife, children and grandchildren joined online from home to celebrate the special occasion.

Caregiver Update Calls

Not wanting to catch our care teams at an inconvenient time, some family caregivers resist calling the hospital for updates.  Karen Horn was grateful when Bridgepoint implemented Intentional Caregiver Update Calls for patients with physical or cognitive challenges that prevent them from picking up the phone and speaking with friends or family. “Receiving regular calls puts my mind at ease because I know that someone is watching my daughter Stephanie,” says Karen.

“We asked each caregiver to identify the key things they’d like to know in the updates,” says Lily Yang, Senior Director, Quality and Patient Experience. “Our clinical teams can prepare and schedule time during the day to call caregivers based on that information.”

Sinai Health has also been keeping patients connected through our CareMail service. Families and friends simply fill out an online form and the message is delivered in an envelope to the patient within one business day. To send a message to a patient at Mount Sinai click here and for Bridgepoint patients click here.

For more information on ways family caregivers and patients can connect at Sinai Health, view our COVID-19 page.