Boorowa Multi Purpose Service is using technology to keep its 12 aged care residents in touch with family after purchasing a tablet.
The recently purchased tablet is giving residents their first taste of video calling, as most had never seen a tablet before.
Activities coordinator Gail Arabin says residents’ families were encouraged to download Whatsapp and ring the hospital to organise a time to chat online. Staff then supported residents to hold and use the device.
“One lady kept trying to put the tablet up to her ear – she is in her 90s and had never seen technology like this in her life,” says Ms Arabin.
“The look on the residents’ faces when they see their family is just priceless. You can see a difference in their whole demeanor.”
Ms Arabin says an unexpected bonus is that residents who struggle to hear well over the telephone are finding it easier to follow conversations when they can see their loved one’s faces and lip-read.
Kylie Stein, district coordinator Leisure and Lifestyle, says keeping residents in touch with family is a priority across all facilities, particularly in small communities where residents tend to have less frequent visitors because families live a long way away. “The challenges we face in terms of distance and connecting with family has been amplified by COVID-19, so we are trying to ensure people are having those social connections with their loved ones,” Ms Stein says.
“Staff are doing an amazing job of looking after peoples’ wellbeing and going that extra mile to look after residents to make things fun, but nothing replaces a chat with your children or your sister.”
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