An old man in an elderly care home sits in front of the laptop in a big empty room and watches a clown from RED NOSES Lithuania perform a show online

Online Clowning - bridging gaps and connecting

31.March 2020

Online Clowning - bridging gaps and connecting

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant? Henry David Thoreau

Clowning and our #REDNOSESLittleMiracle story series go virtual! In these extraordinary times of COVID-19 restrictions worldwide, RED NOSES clowns decided to do what they do best - bring joy to people - over the Internet! But wait, how will this work for older people who are not skilled in digital communication? Read more about what RED NOSES Lithuania successfully implemented in senior care homes.

Unusual times, like the quarantine that started in March 2020, require exceptional tools and much creativity. RED NOSES Lithuania created in just a week a virtual “Clown Line” for small patients in hospitals. But this is not all. They also hurried to connect with the Seniors' Social Care House in Vilnius, with whom they have been in contact for 3 years. Solid human interaction cannot be put on hold just because of a virus, so here is what followed.

Once the desire and availability of the clowns was made known, the elderly home staff was more than happy to make things work. Therefore, they discovered the place where the best Internet connection in the house was and made it possible for senior citizens to chat with clowns on video calls every Thursday and Friday.

An old woman watches a clown intervention online as she sits in front of a laptop in a big empty hall in her elderly care home in Lithuania

During the first calls, an old man thought that he was watching a movie until he was called by his name by the clown. Only then he understood what was actually going on and a large smile found its way on his face. He felt so honoured and privileged to be known by his name and to be addressed in such a respectful way by the clown at the other end of the virtual world... The staff said that all their elderly patients feel happy to keep in touch with their already beloved clowns and are excited to the moon and back.

Throughout the implementation of the online programme, we have experienced some of the effects of this type of interaction. The people have optimal control of the situation, they decide to stay and to what extent they want to include the clowns. The senior citizens relax, feel connected and empowered, and experience less anxiety or stress.

A big wallpaper joins together a collection of pictures of elderly people and RED NOSES Lithuania clowns

*Story from: www.raudonosnosys.lt