Galleon Gardens resident Irene Gann chats with daughter Sue Shaw and great-grandson Chace, who is being home-schooled with his grandmother.

Aged care provider Bolton Clarke is using technology and downloadable resources to help residents and their families including young children stay in touch during coronavirus.

The virtual visits involve families booking a time to speak with their loved ones, who use an iPad and Microsoft Teams and  the support of staff  to connect.

The iPads, which have been rolled out across the provider’s 26 aged care facilities, are mounted on tall and table-top stands to provide a face-to-face experience.

Bolton Clarke has also developed the Hello Nan and Pop Fun Pack, which is a downloadable activity pack for grandchildren to use to support online conversations with their grandparents.

The children’s resources include finger puppets, a find-a-word, colouring activities and questions for grandchildren to ask, such as about the year their grandparent was  born or where they went to school.

Gwen Bonney, a diversional therapist at Bolton Clarke Galleon Gardens on the Gold Coast, said the virtual visits are a hit with residents.

“The looks on the residents’ faces are priceless when they see their family on the screen for the first time,” Ms Bonney said.

“Our residents’ families who live in New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Spain and interstate have all been able to connect, which has been particularly important at this time,” Ms Bonney said.

Ms Bonney said the technology has particularly been popular among families with loved ones in the memory support unit.

At Bolton Clarke Moreton Shores near Brisbane, a device has been nicknamed Sheldon and dressed to resemble the television series character Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.

Bolton Clarke is gauging the use of the iPads to inform the provision of more devices as needed. 

Access the activity pack here.

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