With nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide1, World Alzheimer’s Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness and educate the public about dementia. James Rycroft, Managing Director at the UK’s leading provider of specialist dementia care, Vida Healthcare, discusses the role of technology within dementia care and its positive outcomes.
Investment in technology within care homes has numerous benefits. Whether it’s alleviating staff members of admin tasks and record keeping so they can spend more time interacting and caring for residents or ensuring that residents are in contact with their loved ones. Digital solutions can have hugely positive impacts and improve residents’ general wellbeing.
The accessibility of smart technology like smartphones and tablets offers new ways for providers to engage with staff, residents, and their families. World Alzheimer’s Month poses a global opportunity to encourage dementia support and research. At Vida Healthcare, we have reinforced our commitment to improving connectivity in care homes by developing technology to keep staff and residents connected.
Another positive outcome of using technology within care homes is increased independence and safety for care home residents. Wearable devices and sophisticated nurse call systems can assist a resident’s independence while making professional processes more efficient. Proactive technology that identifies potential medical issues will quicken response times to health events and accidents. This mitigates the risks faced by vulnerable residents and allows greater autonomy, which can pose a better quality of life through less invasive observation methods.
A positive experience
Though smartphones and devices may seem daunting at first, building a positive experience with new technology is crucial for staff and residents who are nervous about or new to smart devices2. Using technology can help residents to maintain social connections, which in turn can support them in maintaining their independence and improving their wellbeing.
Technology can help residents remain connected to their loved ones and the outside world when care home visits are impossible. This connectivity and online interactions with loved ones make a significant difference and hugely impact a resident’s mental health, reducing social isolation and loneliness.
Technology in practice
Technology enables information to be shared more quickly and efficiently. As Vida has developed and grown, we’ve recognised the importance of communication channels that keep staff and family members updated.
Vida Healthcare has developed and launched an app to support staff at work and maintain connectivity between staff, residents and family members across Vida’s three homes. Team Talk is user-friendly and gives families instant access to catch up on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones through posts and updates, including videos and images. It also supports staff members in their career progression and promotes an open, accepting workplace that encourages outstanding care provision. Team talk is currently being adapted to suit the wider care market and will soon be available to other care providers to improve communication and connectivity.
For more information, please visit www.vidahealthcare.co.uk.