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It's a Tech Savvy World, Are Your Residents on Board?

Over the past few years many nursing facilities have added computer stations for resident use.  But are they being used or are the computers just sitting there collecting dust?  So many residents can potentially benefit from the computer use - email, playing games, typing letters, viewing family pictures - the list is virtually endless.  

  • Do the residents and families know about the availability of the computer?  
  • Is the computer easily accessible to residents in wheelchairs?  
  • Is there adequate lighting?  

Too often when I ask LTC staff why the computer stations aren't being utilized I get this response, 'the residents don't know how to use it'.  But when I question the staff about whether there are residents who could enjoy various aspects of computer use, they can always give a name of someone.  So my challenge to long-term care communities today is to choose one resident at a time and help get the resident using the computer.

Ways to start - 

  • Remind families of the location of the computer stations (and of course any 'rules')
  • Encourage family members to use the computers to show their resident pictures of family
  • Does the resident have a teenage or 20-something grandchild who would like to visit more but doesn't know what to do during the visit?  Suggest that the grandchild show the resident the humorous side of YouTube, Facebook, etc.
  • Pair a volunteer with a resident to 'teach' them how to play solitaire, type a letter, jot down their favorite recipes into a 'cookbook' to give to family
  • Start a 'genealogy campaign' and encourage families to involve their resident with contributing to their ancestry.com family tree.  
  • Invite the local high school / college tech group to give a presentation and ask for volunteers to assist with one-to-one training
  • Ask a tech-savvy rehab resident to speak with residents about accessibility options, entertaining programs, important points-to-know in order to get started

The facility has made an investment, now, put it to good use.  Have the activities department start a small group where residents can either share information that they've learned or things that they would like to learn.  Encourage resident-to-resident conversations during meals about what they've discovered.  Remind the staff to help foster giving your residents a purpose and a project.  

Need assistance jump-starting your activity and psychosocial programs, Social Service department? Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, and we'll schedule a visit to help your facility continue improving Quality of Life services for your residents.

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2 Comments to It's a Tech Savvy World, Are Your Residents on Board?:

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www.rimonabantexcellence.com on Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:20 PM
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www.rimonabantexcellence.com on Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:20 PM
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