The Family Connect Project is an initiative to connect Elders in nursing homes and assisted living environments with their family and friends using communication, video and social media platforms like Email, Skype, and Facebook.
At FCP we see the barriers to connecting families and friends being simply a lack of a uniform and supported approach to the technology. While the technology is readily available and simple, a uniform and assisted approach is needed at aged care facilities to help Elders and support staff leverage the opportunities.
We see the situation as this:
Elders living in a Nursing Home or assisted environment, say 70+ years old, may have little understanding of a computer or iPad but would grasp the opportunity to communicate more with their family.
The Elder’s Sons and Daughters, Nieces and Nephews are very likely to own and understand the required technology or have adequate means to use it if they are not already.
Grandsons and Granddaughters of the Elder almost without exception already extensively use the technologies.
What Technologies? We provide support for the following platforms –
- Skype (we get the Elder setup for Video calls)
- We provide an online booking system to help families connect with Residents. This booking system helps automate and manage bookings, and makes it easy for care staff and family alike.
Soon we aim to also support for following, or variations of them –
- FaceBook (We get the Elder on FaceBook, and connected to their families. No selfies please Nanna!)
- Email (we get the Elder set up with an email address)
- We support both Windows and MAC computers, iPad and Android tablet devices.
- We support native email readers on only on computers and tablets.
What does your organisation need?
- You will need an Internet connection and WiFi connectivity, or a 3G/4G Device.
- An iPad, Tablet or Laptop for shared use.
What do the Elders need?
An Elder may use their own laptop, computer or tablet device as an alternative to sharing a device. We recommend iPads for ease of use and portability.
This is an excellent option where the Elder has the ability to use and an interest in the technology, because they can self-connect with their family!
What support do you get?
- We will provide you with guidance and material to help get your Elders connected.
- We will assist where required in the creation of email accounts, Skype or FaceTime Accounts and Facebook Accounts.
What Does The Future Hold?
Boredom and isolation can a problem in Aged Care facilities. We hope to provide additional services for Elders, like helping them connect with interest groups, custom on-line newspapers and videos related to their interests. We will also strive to create a connect platform similar to Family Connect to help connect Aged Care facilities together so they can participate in group activities.