Two Kent care homes are reaping the rewards of integrating smart technology to keep their residents mentally stimulated and connected with loved ones throughout the UK’s second lockdown.
Staff at Woodstock Residential Care Centre in Sittingbourne and St Winifreds Care Centre in Deal are already noticing an increase in resident engagement following the implementation of the interactiveMe handheld smart devices in their respective homes.
Both homes, which are part of the Nellsar Care Group, have been able to create engaging and interactive activity plans to improve the mental health of their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also been able to prompt families via SMS to stay connected with their residents through simple and secure video and photo sharing.
Woodstock has also just received the National Centre of Excellence Award from interactiveMe for its outstanding and creative use of the technology during lockdown.
Marina Foreman, Senior Recreation and Well-Being Lead at Woodstock, said: “I was a bit sceptical about interactiveMe at first, as I wasn’t sure if our residents would understand how to use and engage with the devices, especially those with advanced dementia. Utilising technology during lockdown, however, has turned out to have made such a huge difference to our residents’ lives in so many ways.
“It has calmed them down when they have been upset or agitated by the lockdown, while also making them laugh and reminisce. Being tailored to the individual, it has also given staff a greater insight into residents’ lives and has helped foster stronger, more personal relationships.”
Residents have also embraced the technology at St Winifreds, with the Deal home noticing how its dementia residents, in particular, have positively responded to engaging with the device’s activities and visuals, namely by their facial expressions.
The husband of a resident at the home, Douglas Gray, noted how easy interactiveMe is to use to regularly communicate with staff and his wife Doreen, bringing him peace of mind and comfort during lockdown. He can upload and share images and videos with his wife and observe the activities she’s been taking part in, keeping them closely connected despite being unable to physically see each other currently.
In addition to resident benefits, interactiveMe also demonstrates to the CQC how the care homes are meeting key lines of enquiry on resident wellbeing, safe family involvement and the use of new technology.
Sam Dondi-Smith, founder of interactiveMe, commented: “The teams across Nellsar have really embraced our technology to its fullest potential. Families have told us they feel more connected to their loved ones during these uncertain times and the staff have a therapeutic tool to use for their 1-1s which is both meaningful and measurable.”
Built on strong foundations, Nellsar has worked hard to build the trusted reputation of its homes and prides itself on being approachable, accountable and ‘hands-on’ in its relationships with the families it supports.
For more information on Nellsar and its homes, please visit www.nellsar.com.
For more information on interactiveMe, visit https://interactiveme.org.uk/.