Technology boost improves connectivity for Corwen Care Home residents

A technology boost to online connectivity has helped residents at a Corwen residential home stay better connected with loved ones during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Denbighshire County Council carried out work to improve the fibre broadband connections at Cysgod y Gaer Residential home as it was recognised during lockdown when some residents were required to go into isolation that the connectivity across the care home would not support their requirements to use devices to keep in contact with friends, family and social groups which were being delivered on-line. The infrastructure was therefore updated to superfast broadband with download speeds of 65mb, allowing for greater use of smart devices for the residents at the home to stay in touch with loved ones and friends.

Through the Integrated Care Fund (ICF) from Welsh Government, the Council purchased extra-large TV screens, IPads, Portals and Alexa devices to help residents connect with family and friends through online voice and video calls, also to improve online connectivity Fire Sticks, and Smart plugs were purchased for the residential home. The Fire sticks have enabled voice control between the Facebook portals and the large TV’s so families can connect and see each other without the use of the hand held remote control which enables sharing of devices by alleviating the risk of cross contamination of the Covid virus.

The Alexa devices are used in the lounges, dining areas and sitting rooms daily with residents often choosing Jazz and Welsh music be played and the TV’s used for movie nights as well as to host games, challenges and activities encouraging friendly competition and interactions.

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “Technology has become an increasing presence in our daily lives. Introducing technology to the residents can help maintain connection to family and friends by using voice and video calls which has been vital during the months of the Covid pandemic, ensuring that friends and families are kept in contact.

“Providing access to the internet is an excellent way to enable residents to retain engagement with something that interests them.”