Residents using video to connect with loved ones

Although families are unable to visit their loved ones at the moment, the people we support are still managing to connect with their loved ones through video calls.

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Modern technology such as video calling is something we’re using now more than ever. It’s something that has been available to us for years, but we’re now seeing the true benefit as it allows people to have conversations beyond that of a regular phone call. Video calling allows you to see the other person’s face during the call, which can make the conversation feel more personal and interactive, and also reduce feelings of loneliness.

It has also been proven to prevent isolation and depression. Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University compared four ways of communicating, video calling, email, social networks and instant messaging. They determined that people who regularly use video calls had a lower risk of depression due to the face-to-face interaction between the two callers.

Some of our residential homes have been adapting and using video calls to enable the people we support to see and communicate with their families at this difficult time.

Palmyra Residential Home in Waterloo has offered video calls to all family members who would normally visit the service, and now many of the residents are using it. Stan, 91, has been video calling his brother, who’s in his 80s. His brother was a frequent visitor to the service, but they had been unable to see each other due to the current lockdown measures. Stephen Watson, Registered Manager, said that Stan used to speak to his brother over the phone, but this has now been replaced by video due to the connection they can have with one another.

Video calling also prevents the residents from missing out on special family moments. One resident at Palmyra was even able to see his grandson for the first time since February. Stephen said the resident “could see just how much he’d grown”. It’s incredibly important that these moments are not lost in times of uncertainty.

Rivacre Residential Home in Ellesmere Port has recently purchased an Alexa Portal and the residents are loving it!

Dreena Davies, Residential Home Manager, said that the “residents felt great” when making the calls. “They were made up to see their family, rather than just hearing their voice on the phone”. The service has also received a heartfelt thank you from families for making this possible. “It gives the families reassurance that the residents are happy during this difficult time, as they can actually see and hear their happiness”.

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