Keeping in Touch
1 March 18
One of the most important factors in maintaining resident wellbeing is retaining a sense of belonging to their families and the community in general. Technology is increasingly playing an important role in providing ways to stay in touch.
In America there are over 1.4 million people living in aged care facilities and it is estimated that half of them never receive visitors. Luckily this is not the case in Australia, as we as a community are much more involved in the lives of our elderly. At Respect 75% of our residents receive visitors at least weekly and we believe that this is an extremely important way for our residents to remain connected to their family, friends and the wider community. We strongly encourage our resident’s families to visit as often as possible at whatever time is convenient. However we understand that due to certain issues, like geographical and time restraints, it is difficult for some people to visit their loved ones as often as they’d like to. Luckily there are a number of ways that you can remain as an active part of your loved ones’ life:
Letter writing is something of a lost art in today’s society but is a great way to keep in contact with your loved one. Our residents not only love receiving letters in the post but also replying to them. A great idea is to get the grandchildren to become pen pals with the resident and get them to send letters, photos and artwork in the post.
Many of our residents love a good chat on the phone and it’s a great way to keep them in the loop with what’s happening at home with the family.
Internet applications such as Skype and Facetime provide a fantastic way to continue face-to-face contact with loved ones, even if they are in far-away places. They are a great way for families to remain connected and are simple to use – even for those of us who are technologically challenged!
A great way to stay informed about what’s happening at our facilities is to like the Respect Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RespectAgedCare). The page is regularly updated with news stories and events from the facilities. We value our resident’s privacy so only people who have given permission will be included in facility updates.
If you do live close it’s important to keep your loved ones involved in special events like birthdays and family celebrations. At Respect we encourage residents to spend as much time as practical still being involved with their family and friends, both inside the facilities and in the wider community. We often hold activities such as concerts and market days that provide a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved one doing something exciting in their homes. Many of our facilities also operate cafes if you’d like to catch up for a meal or a coffee. All family and friends are extremely welcome at our facilities and we like that residents can truly feel like this is their home.