Fernand Henley saw the world as a pilot during the Second World War and went on to fly extensively in Canada’s North as a commercial pilot.

His travels are behind him now that he’s confined to a veteran’s hospital near Montreal, two provinces away from his adoring daughter. But the pair has bridged that distance with fibre optics and the video chat service Skype.

While Skype isn’t exactly new technology, it’s recently proven to be a hit at Ste. Anne's Hospital, where the average age is 93. Many residents have a hard time placing a voice on the phone -- an image provides the full picture. The results are virtually instantaneous.

“We see a well-being, (a) general well-being of the person almost immediately,” Ste. Anne's head nurse Denise Ouellet told CTV News.

Henley isn’t a big talker. The Order of Canada recipient and member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame prefers to nod along and inject the occasional quip.

The short exchanges made possible by a few clicks are the priceless result of the free online service.

“You can see him smile, and when he smiles it’s because he is enjoying the back and forth,” said Henley’s daughter France.

With a report from CTV’s Quebec Bureau Chief Genevieve Beauchemin