Staying Connected in COVID

At a time when there have been some restrictions on visitors coming into our facilities, Our Lady of Consolation encourages residents and their family members to use a digital device to help stay in contact with families and friends wherever this is feasible. Staying connected is an important part of our Model of Wellbeing, so we offer support for whatever system suits the resident best: phone calls, video calls or messenger apps.

We supply free WIFI for residents to stay in contact with friends and family via video call or messenger application and have specialist staff available for consultations if a resident needs help to get online.

Our Lady of Consolation’s communications team consult with residents and family members before assisting in the setup of a resident’s device. There are a range of video calling and messaging apps available and we try to find the one used by the most members of the family; but we’ve found the more complex and involved an app is, the less likely a resident is to persevere with the device.

Technology is a powerful tool in keeping people connected. Not only do we employ it to keep families in touch, but we also use it to encourage cross-facility friendships where face to face meetings aren’t possible. Residents can schedule in video calls to catch up with their friends in other facilities on our campus.

New technology can be daunting for an older person, so we have staff available to help with technical issues. Whether it is a series of general lessons to help a resident feel confident using their device; single app specific tutorials or more complex technological issues, our communications team are prepared for all questions.

Our staff help residents to get the most out of their technology by taking the time to make sure they can use and access it easily and that it’s well suited to their needs. As brilliant as modern technology can be; it isn’t always built with accessibility in mind. The touch interaction on an iPad for example, requires a steady hand and fine motor control, something that older people can sometimes have trouble with, and in those cases we can explore whether our occupational therapists can help the resident to be able to use a particular device.

To help residents stay in touch, OLOC provides free WIFI for all residents. We also provide free access to five Foxtel channels. Residents can also choose to purchase their own landline telephone, wired internet connection or an unlimited Foxtel package.