Unfortunately, there are sometimes times which we are forcibly separated from friends and family. In these times, we have to think of new ways to keep in touch with one another to ensure that the more vulnerable of us get all the assistance and support they need.
This not only applies to the elderly, but also people living with disabilities. It is why we still have schemes in place to help the disabled, such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in the UK and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia, and is a reason why a program like NDIS Service provider Sydney is still an important part of our systems to assist the disablibled.
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Whether in times of national emergency or not, developing new ways of communication between elderly care patients and their families can be useful at all times. As the Better at Home Report reiterates, elderly care patients are happier and healthier when they can stay in their own homes and still see and talk to family and friends whenever they want. But how can we stop them being lonely if family are not able to visit?
Technology to the Rescue
It is vitally important that elderly patients keep in touch with the outside world so that they don’t feel separated from family and friends. Friends and relatives too need to know that their loved one is happy and well and is being cared for. Luckily we are living in times of rapid technological development which means that with the aid of a smartphone, laptop or iPad it has never been simpler to contact people.
A huge advantage of the new technology comes with the advancement of video calling or Skype. Just being able to see the faces of those you are talking to brings them a little closer. If an elderly care patient is not confident in using electronic devices their live-in carer should be only too pleased to set it all up for them and show them how to use it.
Friends and family members should ensure that live-in carers have up to date mobile numbers and email addresses. This is useful as carers can take pictures or videos of their patient taking part in daily activities such as exercising or even strolling around, or sitting in, the garden. Pictures and newsletters can be exchanged on facebook. Young children can engage with elderly grandparents through digital nightly storytelling, a lovely idea to keep the generations in touch with each other.
Traditional Methods Still Work
An old fashioned, traditional telephone call still goes a long way in keeping communication going. A weekly or daily phone call works wonders in keeping up morale and giving elderly care patients structure in their routine and something to look forward to. Some care homes have been encouraging their residents to write letters or send postcards to family and friends as well as using social media and local newspapers asking people to write to care patients who are in lockdown.
Where family members live close by they could be encouraged to visit the care patient’s home during their daily walk and sit or stand by a window. This way they can speak to each other by telephone and all parties can feel happier by physically seeing each other.
Research by the Live-in Care Hub (www.liveincarehub.co.uk) shows that care patients do best when family and friends are within reach. Whether this is physically or digitally, it could have a beneficial effect on an elderly person’s quality of life.