Local funeral home using technology during social distancing

Local

BALLSTON LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS 10) — During the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Cuomo has ordered only immediate family members to be present at wakes and funerals.

To help people feel comforted by extended friends and family, Kathleen Sanvidge and her co-workers at Townley and Wheeler Funeral Home came up with an idea— a carport called Unity Station that uses modern technology.

“Friends and family will pull up under unity station carport and safely park their car and they will interact with the family inside virtually and be contented in real time,” explained Sanvidge. “They can hear, they can talk, they can see, and share condolences and offer support.”

It works by having 2 flat screen monitors with cameras that detect movement. One is set up inside the funeral home, while the other set up in the parking lot.

“We understand that postponing grief is not a healthy option,” said Sanvidge. “We want to be a beacon of hope in the community and offer this extended service in order to soothe and calm the family during their grieving time.”

Tonight was the first night Unity Station was put to use, and Sanvidge said local families were thrilled to learn that extended friends and family could pay their respects to their loved ones at no-additional cost to them.

“COVID or not, I see this as a useful station for the future,” Sanvidge stated.

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