Care Home Ideas for Social Connection
The care home that my Mum is in has closed to all visiting. This left us with no way to communicate with Mum so we got our thinking caps on. The home is supposed to have an IPAD but that only works if you have an IPAD too.
Today we visited Mum and had a lovely chat to her through the window. It worked well thanks to Katrina at the home ensuring that someone was there to make sure Mum was in her room. Here are some things that might help these visits work well;
Some sort of time slots available for families to book - there are lots of online scheduling programs to do this and homes could have visiting times that suited their schedules, meal times etc. The other way is to ring and arrange individually but that will be quite time consuming.
A high chair placed by the window makes it easier for the person inside to be comfortable when chatting.
Some people may need staff to help them remain by the window for a few minutes, we managed OK with Mum once she had a seat and the bedroom door was closed to prevent distractions.
A weekly short visit of this type would be a great way to feel more connected.
Zoom is a completely free online video conference system which has unlimited times for 1-1 meetings - this might work for those that were a bit more able or could easily be set up.
Skype again is free and easy to use.
Whats App is free for calls and video calls.
We are setting up a little YouTube video where we can upload some videos for Mum of what we are doing etc. This again is free and easy to do and shouldn't be too time consuming for staff to share with family members.
Facebook is free of course and if people gave their permission there might be the possiblity of having a closed group for each home where there could be general updates and pictures etc
Email - this seems a little underused at present. A weekly or bi-weekly message about how Mum is doing would be helpful and it would save us having to ring and interrupt staff doing their duties.
There are online games such as Words with Friends that perhaps those that are more able could play with their family members alongwith plenty of other online games. I have just signed up for some online games to play with my nephew.