For many people we care for, this period will mean a dramatic reduction in activities and family contact and so preventing isolation is key. Staff may also have less free time to spend with the people you support as things change. We need to minimise the impact for those you care for and their families.

Supporting those you care for

The use of virtual reality can help people to ‘get out’ when they can’t go out that much. Usually used alongside Gaming consoles such as Playstation or Xbox or downloadable apps, these fit over the head and give the viewer an immersive experience of a place, a game, a concert. If a console is not possible, how about using the headset with an app that has been downloaded onto a smartphone? Headsets for these are considerably cheaper.

There are also many sites offering virtual tours of places of interest like the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge and museums like the British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and others.

Smart speakers like Echo Dots and Google Home can be bought cheaply and set up to respond to requests from the person themselves, perhaps playing music, stating the day and time etc. You can also subscribe to TV and film streaming providers like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

  • Useful for: lessening boredom, allowing staff to maximise time with those who most need it.
  • Equipment required: For virtual reality: smartphone which can access the internet and a VR Headset. For voice-activated devices: internet access and the equipment.
Supporting families 

Families will be feeling anxious about staying away from loved ones. The use of video calls and messaging can help in preventing isolation. You could make short videos of people to send to families. They could be hosted on YouTube as a private video (Private means only those you invite to view the video can view it (they must have their own Youtube accounts).

If you use electronic care planning software, can you let friends and family have access to the “family portal” so that they can see how their loved ones are doing?

Many software providers have created software to help families and friends to keep in touch with their loved ones. You can find the free ones which we are aware of on our list of free resources.

  • Equipment required: At least one computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone which can access the internet.