Cornerstone Hospice enlists iPads to help patients connect, be entertained

Devices enable better patient quality of life by providing a lifeline outside of a room.

Tavares, Florida, UNITED STATES

Tavares, Fla., Oct. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Patients and their families receiving care in Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care's hospice houses and partner facilities can now connect instantly with loved ones far away.

Using new iPads, the Cornerstone patients and their families are able to use Apple's FaceTime video chat application to talk to and see loved ones who cannot be bedside. Additionally, they have access to a growing number of applications that allow for downloading books, streaming music, playing games, and much more.

The new iPads, called "iPops" are outfitted on a lightweight stand that can be moved easily throughout a patient's room or to another location in the hospice house. A wireless internet network enables quick access to online applications.

"Our hospice care team has even used the iPads to allow a man in our care to communicate with his wife who is in a nursing home and unable to visit him," said Derenda "D.J." Hamilton, Cornerstone's IT Director. "Since introducing the iPads, our nursing staff has identified even more ways to use the devices because the technology is easy-to-use and applications are diverse."

A $10,000 grant from the J. Milton Hoffa and Nellie E. Hoffa Memorial Foundation provided the initial funding for Cornerstone to purchase iPads to replace outdated PCOW's (personal computer on wheels) that were introduced to the hospice houses in 2004. Sprint helped set up the iPads and facilitated initial training.

"Most people are familiar with these newer devices already and they're much simpler to use," said Kim Carter, volunteer specialist at the Lane Purcell Hospice House in Sumterville. "It only takes a minute for our staff to help a patient or family member get set up. Our job is to improve the quality of life for our patients and families."

Additionally, Hamilton says the iPads are ideal because they can easily be "wiped clean," or memory from previous users erased, and the device restored to as-new with all of the music, games and apps in place for when a new patient moves into a hospice house room.

Each "iPop" costs approximately $1,000 and Cornerstone Hospice hopes to ultimately have one device in each of the 46 rooms in the hospice houses and in partner facility Winter Park Towers.

Additionally, Sprint is working with D. J. Hamilton to further enhance Cornerstone's care for its patients.

About Cornerstone Hospice

Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., a not-for-profit, community organization since 1984, provides comfort and care to Central Florida families experiencing life-limiting illnesses. Over 5,000 people in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties benefit from Cornerstone programs each year. Enhanced patient and family care is made possible through the generous support of individuals and groups.  For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call 888-728-6234 or visit">


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New iPads improve Cornerstone Hospice patient experience

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