‘Our residents are using the internet to stay connected’

CHAMPION Zoe Kelly is getting to grips with Twitter
CHAMPION Zoe Kelly is getting to grips with Twitter

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I work at Parker Meadows care home just off the Gosport Road in Fareham.

To celebrate the first National Care Home Open Day we went digital.

We held an internet masterclass to show how everyday things in our lives can be made easier through technology.

If you’d have told me a few years ago that the internet would be integral to the lives of the elderly, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Since working at Parker Meadows my view has completely changed.

We use a touch screen computer for different activities such as creating a digital scrapbook of the resident’s life story or making a playlist of their favourite music. It looks like an old record player too, which helps the residents get used to it.

Some of the other residents with dementia even use specialist iPad apps developed by Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) to help manage their emotional wellbeing.

I haven’t quite got the hang of Twitter yet, I’m not sure why people hashtag things?!

But I do love it when residents share photos with their families through Facebook and I’m looking forward to more and more of our residents using Skype to keep in touch with them.

The best thing about technology is it helps keep older people connected so they can still have active social lives.

Care homes should be open, friendly places where people receive the care they need but still carry on with their lives just as they used to. Just because people are over 80 doesn’t mean that they don’t want to have fun or stay connected. Whether that be via social media or internet shopping, the over 80s are certainly getting to grips with technology.