Skype and Google Earth - how care homes are keeping older people connected


Care homes have restricted visits and are turning to video calling and other uses of technology to help avoid social isolation for their vulnerable residents, in response to government guidelines limiting social interaction amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the over-70s considered one of the groups which are vulnerable to the virus, relatives and friends are having to think carefully about unnecessary physical contact and social interaction.

Twelve weeks of isolation for the most vulnerable is expected to come into force in the coming weeks, to cover the peak of the outbreak.

Kingsley Healthcare, which manages 15 care homes in Norfolk and Suffolk, is among the operators to issue reassurance to residents and their families.

Chief executive Daya Thayan said: “As advised by the government, and as we move to the next phase of our plans to support our residents and staff, we are asking for your help and support as we are requesting that we have no visitors, except healthcare professionals.

“This is to ensure that we keep you and your loved ones as safe as possible. Where there are exceptional circumstances, we may permit a controlled visit, provided that it has been pre-arranged with the home manager and we can ensure that the risks are fully mitigated.

“We will still ensure that vital medical visits are made, ensuring that they wash their hands on entering the home and we will be asking all visitors to ensure they have no symptoms.

“All our homes are set up for Skype calling to enable you to keep in touch and we are confident that all our staff teams will do all they can to ensure that life in our homes remains as comfortable and sociable as possible.”

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Author: David Freezer 

Publish date: 23/03/2020
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