Estonia’s largest medical laboratory SYNLAB is to gift tablets to nursing homes, helping their inhabitants communicate with their relatives. In addition, SYNLAB will provide nursing homes with comfortable special mattresses.

Having worked on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic for nearly a year, SYNLAB decided to support Estonian nursing homes, as this is where the pandemic affected the inhabitants and activities most severely. SYNLAB contacted the Ministry of Social affairs and Social Insurance Board, who helped SYNLAB carry out a survey in nursing homes to determine what their elderly inhabitants need most and what would make them feel better during this worldwide health crisis.

The survey revealed that during the period of nursing home visitor restrictions, the inhabitants mostly missed spending time with their relatives and close ones, as this has been restricted or banned completely since the spring of 2020. SYNLAB together with their IT partner Primend purchased 115 tablets for Estonian nursing homes. The tablets are equipped with widely used communication software. The tablets have special legs designed to help people who cannot hold a screen to use them. User training will also be conducted.

The survey conducted among 192 nursing homes operating in Estonia also revealed that the elderly need better mattresses, as they spend a lot of their time in bed. To fulfil this wish, SYNLAB ordered 200 special mattresses from SleepAngel, preventing the development of bedsores and reducing the nursing home staff’s burden of care. The mattresses will be ready for distribution in March and ALD Automobile, one of SYNLAB’s transport partners, will take care of the distribution.

Karin Kallikorm, Customer Service Officer at SYNLAB: “When working on the frontline of the crisis every day, we can really see who needs our support most. Nursing homes and special care institutions are certainly among them. During full testing rounds in nursing homes, our nurses collecting samples have met many positive and brave seniors who are simply happy that they have someone to talk to. Now that the nursing homes have tablets, the elderly have a chance to meet their close ones online while face-to-face visits are not an option during this difficult time. We hope that the ability to stay in contact with the loved ones will give them strength to weather the crisis.” 

Piret Pihel, Director of Saaremaa Südamekodu nursing home: “We are very glad that together with SYNLAB we can help our residents communicate with their family. This is important for both sides. The nursing home residents feel that they are cared for; their relatives and close ones can not only hear them but also see first-hand how they are doing. Our staff values the opportunity to undergo a training on how to use the tablets and communication channels, as this will allow our residents to communicate with their close ones without any technical problems.”

Aile Pilberg, Estonian representative of the SleepAngel trademark: “We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in the charitable initiative by SYNLAB. Welfare institutions and hospitals are our clients, and we can see how the coronavirus has severely impacted nursing homes. To join SYNLAB’s charitable cause, we offered filtered sleep products manufactured in Estonia, which serve as a barrier against viruses, allergens, pathogens and liquids and therefore contribute to making the nursing home environment safer as well as more comfortable. We processed their order in the factory ahead of the waiting line and added 20 extra mattresses as a gift to make the joint act of good will even more substantial.”

Rene Kaalo, Founder at Primend: “When SYNLAB proposed that we provide easy-to-use yet durable tablets for nursing homes, we immediately suggested that special legs should be added to the tablets to allow nursing home residents to talk to their relatives from bed, with the tablet resting on the legs in front of the bed. Our specialists installed Skype and Teams in the tablets, and we will also conduct a training session on how to use the tablet, the leg and communication software. We hope that thanks to this initiative, happy reunions will take place starting next weekend.”

Mārcis Maurinš, Chief Executive of ALD Automotive Baltics: “When SYNLAB contacted ALD and presented their initiative that came straight from the heart, we were quick to decide to join in. We will gladly arrange the necessary transport and help deliver all the mattresses to nursing homes across Estonia. What’s more, several ALD staff members offered to act as the drivers distributing the mattresses. We are truly proud to have SYNLAB as our client.”

SYNLAB is Estonia’s largest medical laboratory and a partner of the Health Board in coronavirus testing, alongside with Medicum and several other private medical establishments and hospitals.

SYNLAB performs over 8.5 million laboratory tests per year in Estonia. SYNLAB employs over 400 people in its laboratories and blood collection points.


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