Jonathan Papworth of Person Centred Software highlights how technology can help families keep in touch even if they can’t visit during this unprecedented time.
With the spread of coronavirus gathering pace, the UK care sector is bracing itself for potential new measures. Concerned relatives are worried about visiting loved ones and are keen to know how they can keep informed about their care when visitor ‘lockdowns’ are put in place.
Giving family the ability to stay virtually connected is something that has already gained pace in the UK care home industry.
Our free Relatives Gateway portal forms part of our Mobile Care Monitoring system and was designed to promote inclusive and transparent care. Accessible from anywhere in the world, easy online access to records, charts and analysis is already providing thousands of family members’ peace of mind. In the last month, more than 2,700 people used Relatives Gateway to keep updated about their loved ones’ welfare and more than 1,600 care homes across the country now have access to the portal.
Photos and messages showing loved ones enjoying meals and activities can be shared through the secure system. Care plan reviews can also be signed electronically by those with power of attorney. Families have described it as a ‘lifeline’, saying they get updated on care without feeling like they constantly need to call the care home.
As an added benefit, clinical digital devices that power Relatives Gateway can further restrict the spread of germs and viruses. Devices such as Ascom’s Myco3 are designed with smooth surfaces so they can be easily disinfected and are optimised for use with medical gloves if required. At a time when we all have to be more careful about who we come into contact with to protect the most vulnerable in society, digital care systems could be a vital way of remaining in touch with loved ones.