Oakland Care group’s Lambwood Heights in Chigwell, Essex has become one of the first UK care homes to receive free Google Nest smart speakers that connect residents with friends and family.
Each Nest device has been set-up for the residents, including their contacts and calling preferences, with the aim of helping them to feel more connected with their loved ones.
The purpose-built hubs have been simplified for the home’s less tech-savvy residents, and each of them has full-control over their privacy settings.
Resident Winnie Mulgrew, 92, (pictured) was one of the first residents to have one of 20 devices installed in her bedroom.
Her daughter, Margaret, commented: “It took a little bit of guidance from the care staff for mum to get used to it, but now she loves telling Google to video call us for a chat.
“Mum loves that she can see our faces and chat to us whenever she wants and will often call two or three times a week. Obviously, we would love to give mum a big hug, but in these difficult times this definitely helps us to feel connected with each other.
“It’s so wonderful to be able to communicate with mum and send her our love.”
Oakland Care’s Chief Executive Officer, Joanne Balmer, added: “For residents to be able to see the familiar faces of their loved ones is very reassuring in these difficult and uncertain times. It makes them feel more comfortable and less anxious.
“It’s a great way of promoting independence and providing our residents with the privacy to make their calls. Residents can choose when to catch-up with a friend or loved one instead of relying on a member of staff.
“This enables us to provide even more personalised care and gives our residents greater choice and control over their day.”