Wifi for UK Care Homes
Four Seasons Health Care, which runs 370 care homes in the UK and houses 20,000 people, recently installed WiFi in all homes to improve residents’ quality of life.
Residents note various positive impacts this has had on their lives. For example, one resident at the Maltings Care Home in Fakenham, mentions how much she enjoys Skyping her daughter and seeing photos online. Nurses incorporate watching ballet videos at Cossins House Care Home in Cobham, in treating a former ballerina who suffers from dementia to help “stimulate positive memories, as well as [encourage] her to reminisce about her earlier experiences with other residents and staff members.” Other residents use the internet to read online books.
Chief Executive of The International Longevity Centre-UK think tank, notes the gap in internet access in Care Homes across the country. She says, ” This is an area that really needs to be addressed to ensure that care home residents are fully included in today’s society. Technology can stimulate creativity and trigger reminiscence. It is so important for the intellectual and emotional wellbeing of older people, enabling them to connect through friends and family by email, Facebook and Skype. I would urge all care homes to have ICT as an integral part of their homes as it is a vital part of residential care.”
Davina Ludlow, director of carehome.co.uk, echoes this emphasis, and mentions the importance of providing internet access in “giving older people and people with disabilities back their independence and stop them feeling so isolated.”
Alive!, a UK charity, also underscores the importance of technology for the ‘intellectual and emotional well-being of older people,” in their work providing iPad sessions for residents.
This initiative is clearly an important step to improving the quality of social care in the country.
Source: Sue Learner, Care Home