Residents at Care UK’s Colne View in Halstead are making the most of new technology in order to stay in touch with loved ones across the world – or even close to home.
The home, in Dame Mary Walk, has installed Skype at the home to enable families to chat on a regular basis, even if there is physical distance between them.
Home Manager Ana Maria Tudorache said: “Keeping up family bonds and relationships are very important to our wellbeing and nothing is guaranteed to make someone smile more than sharing a conversation with a loved one face to face. Grandparents’ faces always light up when they see their grandchildren and for those whose grandchildren live in other countries, this really helps.”
Ana Maria and her team were investigating using Skype when they were approached by a resident’s son who told them that he regularly works in Italy. He wanted to be able to communicate with his mother and to be able to join in monthly meetings with the team and his mother about her health and care programmes.
Ana Maria spoke to other families and found people who not only had family abroad, who were keen to enjoy face-to-face catch ups, but also relatives who had to travel long distances several times a week to visit. She said: “It is very difficult, especially when the weather is bad and driving conditions can be difficult, for people to always make the journey but they are very keen to see their relative - this provides the ideal solution.
“We are delighted to be able to offer this facility to families, not only to help them stay in touch but also to help them to take an active part in their parents’ or loved ones’ care planning at face to face meetings.”
One of the first residents to use the Skype facility was able to talk to his son who is travelling around south East Asia.
Ana said: “He is currently travelling around Cambodia and it was lovely to see them catch up on each other’s news and it was nice for them both to see the other one looking so well. We are planning more Skype sessions as he travels around Thailand and the Philippines and I know they are both looking forward to it very much.”