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How We Can Use Technology to Combat Loneliness in Care Homes

  • Impact of Loneliness: Loneliness in care homes, exacerbated by the pandemic, has adverse effects on both mental and physical health, including increased disease risk and cognitive decline.
  • Using Technology to Combat Loneliness:
    1. Learning Sessions: Care homes can offer technology workshops to help residents embrace user-friendly gadgets.
    2. Choosing Suitable Tech: Tablets with simple interfaces enable easy communication via apps like Skype and WhatsApp.
    3. Connecting Through Games: Brain-boosting apps on tablets allow residents to bond and challenge each other, promoting social interaction and mental stimulation.

One of the biggest saving graces during the pandemic was video calls.

They allowed friends and family to chat and bond when they couldn’t meet up in person, and they allowed businesses to connect when commercial activity was confined to our kitchens.

In care homes, this solution wasn’t quite as viable.

Given that care home residents aren’t quite as in tune with technology as their younger relatives, a quick phone or Zoom call was much harder to arrange.

This has meant that the past two years have been among the loneliest for care home residents.

single tree in snowy field

How loneliness can affect the health of care home residents

Loneliness for the elderly isn’t just a mental problem, it’s a physical problem too. Here’s what some recent studies have found:

  • Loneliness can be as damaging to our health as smoking
  • Loneliness can increase our risk of contracting certain diseases
  • Loneliness and a lack of social interaction can speed up cognitive deterioration

care home of future

How can we use technology to combat loneliness?

  • Provide learning sessions: It’s a common misconception that the elderly are unwilling to embrace new technology. In fact, according to Age UK, many older people are willing to try new gadgets as long as they are simple enough to use and will actively improve their quality of life. This is why care homes should introduce technology workshops where older people can better get to grips with different hardware and software that could change their lives for the better.
  • Identify the right technology: When tablets were first introduced to the market, it wasn’t initially clear where they were going to sit. It turns out they have become increasingly more popular amongst older people, with a study from Ofcom suggesting that over 25% of people over 75 are using them. Tablets often feature a large, simple interface too, meaning that understanding communication apps such as Skype and WhatsApp should be fairly easy.
  • Connecting through games: Technology doesn’t just allow residents to connect with their families through Skype and Zoom, it also allows them to bond with other residents through games. Tablets and other gadgets often come with a range of different easy-to-use, brain-boosting apps, such as Sudoku, Crosswords Classic and Scrabble, meaning that residents can easily learn and challenge their friends to a game and improve together.

Aedifice Partnership manages new care home construction and refurbishment projects throughout the UK, leveraging years of experience to ensure that they are finished on time and within budget.

Why not give us call today to see how we can help you with your next project? 


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