TECH TALK: Beating loneliness in care

Jonathan Papworth, founder and director, Person Centred Software

Person Centred Software founder and director, Jonathan Papworth, explains how you can help new residents and their families cope with the transition to living in a care home.

Christmas is an incredibly difficult time of year for someone to move into a care home. At any time of year, the transition into care for an older person, who may have very recently been independent, is a huge emotional upheaval. The loss of independence can easily affect someone’s identity, and the feelings of ‘who am I?’ can lead to isolation.

Not only is the adjustment difficult for the new resident, but for their families. Typically, families feel a great deal of guilt and grief at ‘not being able to cope’ with looking after their family member, even though they have made the decision with the best interests of everyone involved in mind.

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You can help to support residents and their families with the journey to care. You and your staff will provide empathy, space to grieve and process the transition. But it’s an additional burden for your already busy team.

Technology can help your team support people going into a residential or nursing home. Installing Wi-Fi in your care home will open a world of communication for residents. For instance, to help a new resident settle in, you can support them to video call their friends and family on applications such as Skype to reduce loneliness.

You can also reassure family members that their loved ones are settling in with an online electronic Relatives Gateway. This means you can share photos of care activities and message updates about the person enjoying meals or activities through the secure system directly with relatives. Not only will it dispel families’ fears about care homes, but it will keep them much more connected to their family member’s new stage of life during the transition.

How does technology help you to support a new resident and their family moving in? Join the discussion in our Care Home Managers’ Technology Forum Facebook Group.

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