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Tech keeps us connected

It’s probably fair to say that technology has come into its own during the lockdown. The truth is it’s been used as part of the home care service for some time. A valuable tool to help home carers look after the needs of their patients. But in recent months, technology has been an integral part of all our lives.

Self-isolation has been one of the big challenges in 2020. Many vulnerable individuals have not been forced to lock themselves away due to the restrictions. If you are a relative who lives away from your loved one or you are local but have taken the decision not to visit during this period, technology has been a lifeline.

Your window to the outside world

A visit from relatives or friends is so important for many patients. During the lockdown, a carer will be the only person they have seen regularly. But a carer can be a great help when it comes to using technology to keep in touch with loved ones.

It’s certainly not something new when it comes to the support Age Care Advice provides. We have always used laptops, iPads and iPhones as a way of communicating with the people who are important to our patients.

Before the pandemic, it was part of what we did during our visits. For those who don’t live nearby, it was a great way for them to keep in touch until they could visit again. The frequency of these calls has increased because even those who live locally, have chosen not to visit.

Used in the right way, this type of technology can help in other ways. For carers, it’s a great way to arrange property maintenance, manage medical needs even order the shopping.  Tasks that can be carried out together, so patients continue to feel in control and a way of enabling longer periods of self-isolation.

A source of entertainment

Embracing technology and what it has to offer is a great way to look after a patient’s wellbeing. A video call doesn’t have to be limited to one person. You could have several members of the family on the one call. Many people have enjoyed a weekly quiz to get everyone engaged. An opportunity to think about other things.

And there are lots of other options online. Additional content has been made available through social media channels. Facebook Live has been posting live musical performances. You can even watch the animals being fed at the zoo, go on a museum tour or enjoy an online theatre production.

It’s also an opportunity to learn something new. Not something you may have considered before but a great way to pass the time. Browsing through YouTube there are plenty of videos to choose from. For example, learn a new language, relive history or pick up some new cooking recipes.

And let’s not forget about smart speakers such as the Alexa from Amazon or Google Home. Interactive devices that patients can ask questions or instruct to play their favourite songs. If other family members have the same device, you can simply ask to speak to them, and it will connect directly. A great companion for when the carer is not there and very low tech to operate, it just needs you to talk to it.

Sharing lots of different memories

Being able to look through old photographs is a great way to reminisce. Over the years physical photos have been replaced with viewing images on a screen. These are stored online and accessed through a computer, iPad or phone.

But you still want to share these with your loved one. Sending them via email can be difficult because they are large files. Which is why technology such as WeTransfer are useful tools. A simple link to the online file will enable you to share photos quickly and easily. Home carers can help patients’ access these to remind them of happy times.

Even old paper photos can be scanned and stored online in the same way. It’s a great way for you to share memories with others. Lockdown is an opportunity to go through those old boxes of photos, maybe even record who’s in the picture so the information isn’t lost. You don’t have to upload them yourself, your children or a grandchild could do that. A great way to preserve your family history.

As we capture each moment in time, keeping photos or screenshots of your family’s time during lockdown is important. Our carers love to embrace each day as it comes, and these are no different. Whatever the environment it’s about making the most of every day and to keep making those memories.

What has been your experience during lockdown with home care, why not share them with us?

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