Senior Care Uses Technology to Talk to Soldier

At 9am CST on Thursday, January 27th, Story Medical Senior Care residents had a chance to talk to and see an employee that has been missed for months.

Aaron Tonderum, CNA, at Story Medical Senior Care, and Iowa National Guardsman with Company D out of Sioux City, Iowa, was transported into the Story Medical activities room full of residents waiting to see him.

He was half way around the world in Bagram, Afghanistan. It was 7:30pm where he was, but he was sitting in their living room with them that morning.

Residents were able to chat with Tonderum via Yahoo! Messenger’s video chat feature. They had a chance to ask him questions about his deployment and his overall wellbeing. The number one question asked by the residents – “Are they feeding you well?” They also wanted to know what the weather was like, what he did for a job and where he was living.

Tonderum used his computer’s camera to give residents a tour of his tent. He told them about his job working nights doing security detail and said he was ready to come home and get back to his job at Senior Care. Although Tonderum left as a CNA (certificated nursing assistant), he is taking classes while deployed to become a CMA (certified medical assistant.)

The activity was set up as part of the Senior Care activities program, by activities director Candy Schainker, and Tonderum’s wife, Sue, who is also a Senior Care employee. Many of the residents were excited for the technology and commented on the fact that it would have made the wars of their generation much easier to deal with in terms of anxiety about their loved ones’ wellbeing.

Last July, Beth Rehbein, Administrative Director of Senior Care Services, was awarded the Patriotic Employer Award by the Employer's Support of the Guard and Reserve agency. Rehbein was nominated for the award by Tonderum for her support of his upcoming deployment. The continuous contact with Tonderum is reflective of the relationship Story Medical keeps with deployed employees.

Tonderum left Iowa last summer but will come back to his job at Story Medical Senior Care when he returns from his tour this summer.

For 60 years, Story County Medical Center, Story Medical Clinics and Story Medical Senior Care have been the trusted providers of high-quality, local healthcare services for the residents of Story County. Their modern South Campus creates a healing environment that matches the personalized care and clinical expertise of its medical staff. Visit www.StoryMedical.orgfor more information.



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