Call for better internet access in care homes
Published on 19 August 2013 03:30 PM
Care home managers have been urged to step up their efforts to get residents online.
The call comes after a poll revealed that only a fifth of care homes in the UK have internet access for residents.
Carehome.co.uk, which lists all care homes in the UK, found that only 2,720 of 16,000 have set up the internet for people living there.
Having access to the internet is vital to the 'intellectual and emotional' wellbeing of older people in homes, according to think-tank the International Longevity Centre-UK.
Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK, said: 'This is an area that really needs to be addressed to ensure that care home residents are fully included in today's society.
'These findings that only a fifth of care homes have internet access are very disappointing.
'Technology can stimulate creativity and trigger reminiscence. It is so important for the intellectual and emotional wellbeing of older people, enabling them to connect through friends and family by email, Facebook and Skype.
'I would urge all care homes to have ICT as an integral part of their homes as it is a vital part of residential care.'
iPads used as memory tools
Davina Ludlow, director of carehome.co.uk, said 'The internet can be crucial in giving older people and people living with disabilities back their independence and stop them feeling so isolated. They can shop online, order books and DVDs, chat to family and friends using Skype, and can look at photos on Facebook.
‘Technology can also play a vital role in engaging people who are living with dementia.
'Gadgets such as iPads can be used as memory-reminiscence tools. Music and archive photos from different eras can unlock memories and can easily be accessed just by touching the screen.
'ICT is also great for helping grandparents and their grandchildren to interact as using tablets such as iPads can make communicating so much easier.'