By: Katie Holterman


Senior Director of Clinical Programming & Development

I’ll admit it, in the first few weeks of March 2020, I didn’t mind the quiet at home. Working in healthcare at the time was beyond stressful, and so the moments of solitude were a welcome and much-needed period of decompression. But, after a while, I missed pure social interaction. As “Zoom parties” became the rage, my friends and I gathered in squares of 4, 5, and 6 on a computer screen, talking and getting through the craziness with much-needed laughter. Through the power of technology, we were navigating some of life’s toughest moments together but miles apart.

The pandemic—for as much headache and heartache as it had become—had a silver lining. That silver lining never shined so brightly for me as it did that December when my uncle celebrated his 80th birthday. As our family is spread out among several states, on a “normal” day we most likely would not have been able to celebrate on a large scale. But, technology changed that. We created a virtual party and logged on through a web-based platform. We had a cake delivered to his apartment and his caregiver helped him navigate the technology to connect with us. We sang “Happy Birthday,” and we wore apparel celebrating his favorite sports teams. We shared memories with him that were special, all while making another one. My uncle said he was “on cloud nine,” and we owed it all to the other kind of “cloud” we’ve come to love and depend on.

My story is not unique. During the height of the pandemic, hundreds of stories were told about seniors living in assisted living communities and nursing homes who were unable to physically see their loved ones—and, how some utilized Facetime and Zoom as ways of connecting. But, there were many seniors who had difficulty navigating this technology easily, and family members were left without a connection. 

At Legacy, we recognize that an important factor in a resident’s success during therapy is the communication between staff members, the resident, and his/her family. As the therapist, it is important to keep the family members informed and involved in the success and progress that a loved one is making in therapy. We needed to find ways to maintain connections and communications, so we partnered with Alinea to create our Family Link portal. 

Our Family Link portal keeps families up to date with their loved ones’ progress, wellbeing, and safety, by securely sharing updates through photos and videos in real-time. It allows family members to view a resident participating in therapy and other daily activities and events and provides motivation for residents to engage and participate, as they are eager to share their success with their family members.  This connection helps families to understand therapy goals and activities while allowing residents, family members, and staff to connect with each other as team members, all working toward a unified goal. In October 2021, Legacy was awarded McKnight’s Tech Bronze Award in the “Building Bridges” category for the Family Link portal. We recognized that meaningful connections mean everything, and our everyday moments are meant to be shared with those we love. We love using the cloud—to let others stay “on cloud nine” each day.

Interested in learning more about how our Family Link portal could impact the lives of seniors in your community? Click the button to connect with our business development team—they’d love to show how this portal can truly make a difference in your community.