Texas nonprofit gifting smart devices to nursing home residents to stay in touch with loved ones



AUSTIN, Texas (NewsNation Now) — Texas nursing homes are getting free smart devices to help residents communicate with relatives during the pandemic.

The non-profit Families for Better Care has donated more than 100 Amazon Echo devices to long-term nursing home residents. The organization plans to gift thousands more.

Brian Lee, Executive Director of Families for Better Care, told NewsNation affiliate KXAN virtual visits provide a window into the universe of the resident.

“There are still limitations on visitations. Even if facilities meet all the criteria to open up tomorrow, folks are still going to be meeting outside,” Lee said. “You actually can’t see what’s happening in a residents room, what’s happening with their daily care. These devices will allow that.”

Texas law mandates that families notify and work with facilities to install any type of recording equipment in a resident’s room. Families must cover any costs associated with the device. The law also requires the consent of any roommate before installation and calls for a sign to be posted alerting people to the presence of the device.

NewsNation affiliate KXAN contributed to this report.

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