Sports

New Technology Lets Nursing Home Residents Go to a Ball Game

"We never imagined that we'd be able to take them out to the ballgame!" See how a new device is giving these nursing home residents their lives back.


Most of us take it for granted that we're able to live our lives the way we want to. Activities like going to the grocery store might seem like a chore, but for those who can't just get up and go, it would be a luxury.

That's why, when a handful of patients at Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rebilitation Center in Commack, NY got a chance to attend a baseball game with their families last week, it was a really big deal.

The patients are not usually able to leave their rooms due to the ventilator equipment they rely on to keep them alive. The equipment is heavy and needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to function.

Now, all that has changed due to a new, portable device that allows patients with ventilators to be a lot more mobile. The technology, called 'VOCSN', was created by Ventec Life Systems and provides ventilation, oxygen, cough, suction and nebulization in one unit. Garwin is currently the only long-term care facility in the state of New York to use VOCSN.

While Gurwin's medical staff and residents are thrilled to have the new units, a baseball game wasn't the first thing on their minds when they started using it.

"We were really just looking forward to the VOCSN technology to not only help us provide enhanced care, but also to help our residents be a little more mobile, leave their rooms for a bit, be a little more social and have a little better quality of life," Delta Young, the Director of Respiratory Therapy at Gurwin, said.

"We never imagined that we'd be able to take them out to the ballgame!" - Delta Young

But, that's just what they did. On Monday night, a group of four Gurwin residents and medical staff took a trip to Citi Field in Queens to see the Mets play. They worked with stadium staff to transform one of their suites into a mini intensive care unit; all so that patients could enjoy a night at the ballpark with their families.

One of the residents in attendance was Gus (pictured below), an 82-year-old who was recently diagnosed with ALS. A lifelong athlete, Gus was able to enjoy a night out with his son and two grandsons, who cheered on the Mets by his side.

For Jane (pictured below), a 65-year-old woman who was paralyzed from the neck down by a stroke, it was the first time she had left the facility in 3 years. Her daughters, who were with her at the game, look forward to having more trips out with their mother. "She really needed this night at the stadium," they said. "She needs something to look forward to."

Judging by the smiles on everyone's faces as they watched the Mets play, the VOCSN units are already a homerun.

To learn more about the VOCSN Multi-Function Generator and how it could help your loved ones, click here .

(Images & video c/o Gurwin Family of Healthcare Services )

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