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Friendships, relationships and social interaction play such a pivotal role in looking after our overall wellbeing. And with self-isolation and social-distancing measures in place at various points across the last year two years, it’s been really easy to feel the loss of human contact. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we do our utmost to stay connected – not only with our loved ones but with the world at large too. 

Throughout the pandemic, Anchor has seen many providers recognise the need for consumers to stay in touch with loved ones and engage in activities in new ways. One program success we have seen is the ‘GetConnected’ scheme, which amongst other things, aims to boost resident access to technology and improve a generation’s confidence in an increasingly digital world. 

We sat down with a Consumer Engagement Project Coordinator to learn more about the program and its benefits to their consumers and families.

How would you describe GetConnected?

The GetConnected programme provides support and guidance for people living and working with us on all things digital. We’re keen to help improve confidence and increase access to the digital world, ensuring residents are best placed to benefit from everything the internet has to offer. We’re always dedicated to continually empowering our consumers to get the very best out of life and continue to have their voices heard. Even as restrictions begin to lift, keeping up to date with the latest technology is just one way of doing that.

Although we understand that digital communication is not a replacement for in-person interaction, it’s important to offer solutions and support to our residents so they can stay in touch with relatives and the broader community should they choose to. 

Technology has helped some residents feel less isolated and has already had such a positive effect on their overall health and well-being.

How does GetConnected work?

There are two key branches of GetConnected by which residents can get involved:

The first is our individual tablet loan scheme. If any consumer is keen to improve their digital skills, the programme provides a device for ten weeks.  We ask residents or their families to complete a short questionnaire to ascertain existing skills, but after that, you’re good to go, with full access to our 6-week digital training course. This branch of GetConnected is a great opportunity for consumers to get to grips with the likes of FaceTime and Zoom, to easily keep in touch with loved ones without the need for supervision. And while it’s so important for consumers, it also offers relatives peace of mind, knowing they too can get in touch directly at any time, with just the click of a button.   

The second branch of GetConnected is more ad-hoc, so residents and families can simply contact the lifestyle team or the concierge and book 30min or 1hour sessions. Residents often use these slots after completing the 10-week loan and the digital course. We are finding that residents use the technology for various activities, including facetime and zoom and audiobooks, crosswords, and watching documentaries. 

How many consumers have signed up so far?

We’ve seen a great demand so far, and we have added the information to the admission pack. A quick video call once a day for new residents and families seems to be helping with the transition.

So many of our residents have taken to the digital world like ducks to water. It does take longer to explain, which is why we have the education in place. It’s added another level of variety to our lifestyle and activities program. 

How can residents get involved, and who’s eligible?

The GetConnected programme is open to all our residents. Some of the apps available are such fun, so it’s just a case of understanding the resident’s abilities and finding something they will enjoy. 

To find out more, please contact Claire Ward at Anchor Excellence.

Claire Ward

Aged Services, Compliance Remediation & Consumer Experience Specialist

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