Care homes across the UK and Ireland are being offered a vital line of communication that will enable elderly residents to stay connected with their families this Christmas, as restrictions on visits are continuing across the country.
Leading technology provider Person Centred Software has announced that they are opening up their Relatives Gateway platform to all UK and Ireland care homes free of charge, helping them to facilitate and maintain communication between residents and their families over the festive period.
The technology, which is currently being used by over 2,000 care homes in the UK alone, provides a secure platform for messages and photos to be shared between care home residents and their families. It also assists care homes in streamlining their communication process and providing carers with an efficient way to share real-time wellbeing updates to concerned loved ones by showing what care interactions have taken place and when.
Further connecting families, Person Centred Software recently introduced a video link add-on to the Relatives Gateway, which enables face-to-face communication through video call.
Through the Relatives Gateway, homes will be encouraged to use the platform to involve residents in their families’ traditional Christmas activities, virtually. Whether it be by sending photo and video updates throughout the day, or possibly even dialling residents into their families’ Christmas dinner, Person Centred Software hopes that homes will embrace the opportunity to connect residents with their relatives in an even more meaningful way this year.
Jonathan Papworth, CEO and co-founder of Person Centred Software, said: “Christmas is a time for togetherness, celebration and the sharing of magical experiences. However, the sad reality is that many families will be unable to get together this year, with the ever-changing rules of lockdown threatening to keep people apart. As the government encourages people to prepare for a ‘Digital Christmas’, we wanted to do our bit to ensure that families with loved ones in care homes can make sure everyone is included in their plans.”
Without having to register for any additional subscriptions, providers and families will be able to direct all communications between residents and their families to one place, enabling them to connect in whichever way most suits them.
The software has been successfully connecting residents and relatives all over the world since its development in 2013, with users praising the platform for providing reassurance around their loved ones' care.
Ernie Graham, owner of the Graham Care Group, whose homes have been using the software for 2 years, testified: “As one always says, openness builds trust. When a family member is physically removed from a vulnerable resident, it’s so reassuring for them to see how the care is being provided. Relatives really value being able to directly access the daily lives of their loved ones in real-time, simply by logging in to the Relatives Gateway on their phones or computers at home. It’s really benefitted residents too by enabling their family members to have regular contact with them and it’s been very well received.”
The relative of a resident in Wren Hall Nursing Home, who uses the Relatives Gateway regularly, agreed: "The Relatives Gateway is absolutely brilliant! I would personally like to thank whoever set it up. It’s so good to see how dad is getting on throughout the day - it’s almost as good as being there myself."