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SUPPLIER FOCUS: Alive keeps care home residents connected during lockdown

Alive

Not for profit activities provider Alive shares how it has used technology to keep care home residents connected during lockdown.

Never before has connection been more important, but never before has connecting people been so challenging.  We are in unprecedented times, and watching how the care sector has responded to caring for our elders in the midst of this crisis has been inspirational.

At Alive, we’ve been astounded at how people can still connect in a meaningful way through technology.  We’ve been able to keep working with many care homes through online activity sessions via Zoom.  Just connecting the iPad or laptop up to the TV has meant residents have been able to engage in our reminiscence or music and variety sessions.  Some homes have even been using a single iPad with small groups – and it has still bought joy and smiles.

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One lady was having a difficult day; the care staff were finding it hard to calm her.  Through the iPad, our facilitator Niki sang a song with her and spoke directly to her. She visibly calmed, closed her eyes, raised her hands and joined in singing.

During a different group session where the TV was used, one lady in the group hadn’t been engaging at all over the previous few days and staff were concerned.  She sang throughout our session, beaming from ear to ear and said it was the best fun she had had in ages.

The value of connection has become even more important than ever.  Using Zoom proves technology can reach older people and can improve their wellbeing.  It isn’t the same as face to face, it doesn’t replace human touch, but it can connect on a deeper level.  The last few months have taught us that we need to embrace technology and push the boundaries of what it can achieve though trialling new ideas.

Alive’s “Alive and Direct” activity sessions last one hour, cost £40 and we can connect anywhere in the UK.  If you are interested, please contact us – info@aliveactivites.org or call 0117 377 4756.

Alive is a charity enriching the lives of older people through the provision of activity sessions, community engagement and training for carers, both in the care sector and in the community.

Based in the Bristol area, they train nationally and have been working with older people for over 10 years.  For more information please look at their website: www.aliveactivities.org, or email info@aliveactivities.org

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The author Lee Peart

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