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Videoconferencing Experience Enriches Nursing Home Residents' Lives

Videoconferencing Experience Enriches Nursing Home Residents' Lives

Nursing home residents who used videoconferencing to keep in touch with family members felt it enriched their lives, according to a study.

34 residents from ten nursing homes took part in the videoconferencing study - the 18 women and 16 men had an average age of 75. All of them said the experience enriched their lives, just under two-thirds said it was the second-best option to family visiting and a third said it gave them a true picture of family life. The benefits were considerable and could easily be replicated in a wide range of residential care settings, say the authors.

"A trained research assistant helped the residents speak to their spouse, child or grandchild using SKYPE or MSN" explains co-author Yun-Fang Tsai, Chair of the School of Nursing at Chang Gung University in Taiwan. "At the end of the three-month study period, all the participants took part in in-depth interviews."

The average videoconferencing session lasted just under 12 minutes. Twelve per cent took place daily, 47 per cent weekly, 23 per cent monthly and 18 per cent occasionally.

The residents were very positive about the experience. They said it gave them a chance to be part of family life, see relatives who had moved abroad and allay anxieties if relatives were unable to visit. Comments included:

• "If my family could come to visit me in person, that would be the best way since I can see them more clearly…But they are very busy and have no time to visit every day. This may sometimes replace their in-person visits."

• "I feel less anxiety. If my son does not visit some week I would not be anxious, worrying about the status of his family and clamouring to go home. This is better than the telephone for I can see the real thing. I wouldn't think my son is lying to me that everyone in the family is OK. I can see their rosy faces, which are very believable and real."

Some of the residents felt slightly anxious or self-conscious about using the equipment as they were unfamiliar with computers and found it strange to see their family on a screen rather than in person. Comments included:

• "When I first used the setup, it felt very strange to talk with a computer even though my son was on the other side."

• "Sometimes I have no idea what to say, but it is fine since I can see my children. That part is good."

"We were very pleased with the positive reactions this initiative received" says Professor Tsai. "In fact, the researchers often arrived to find the residents had been waiting for them for half an hour, keen to ensure they didn't miss their slot!”

REHACARE.de; Source: Wiley-Blackwell

- More about Wiley-Blackwell at www.wiley.com

 
 

( Source: REHACARE.de )

 
 

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