Seniors social networking to reduce isolation

Posted on Friday, 16 December 2016

Residents of St Basil’s Nursing Home in Lakemba are finding it easier to reconnect with friends and family thus reducing their social isolation thanks to a $50,000 donation from Canterbury League Club which has gone towards the purchase of 60 smart tablets.

The tablets have been installed with apps such as Skype and Youtube to allow residents to video call their relatives here in Australia and overseas, and access their favourite entertainment on demand like Greek movies and music amongst other things.

“This tablets have taken residents on a new journey as many were not familiar with using computers or accessing the internet. It has changed their lives for the better… [it has] increased their choices and enjoyment of life and opened new doors and opportunities including accessing information, books and education,” said Martha Arakas, Business Development Officer of St Basil’s Nursing Home.

“It has filled their hours with interesting and stimulating activities and reduced the isolation that people sometimes experience. They are being stimulated daily and are asking more questions and being more engaged with the world around them.”

Age hasn’t deterred the residents from learning how to use the new tablets and St Basil’s staff were on hand to provide individual attention to demonstrate how to use them. They explain in simple terms and tailor their demonstrations to the interests of each resident.

“Residents are discovering a whole new world and rediscovering favourite things from their past. Their interest and smiles on their faces as well as positive feedback from their families indicates to us the success of the program,” said Martha.

“Tablets are the perfect piece of technology for seniors because it is fairly easy to use especially with joints that may be stiff from arthritis which can’t use a keyboard as easily anymore. Elderly people in nursing homes might not be able to get out as often or receive frequent visits from their families so these tablets allow them to still stay connected,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.