Care and Connection during COVID-19: Lessons about the effective use of technology for communication with loved ones in aged care

Presenter: A/Prof Jenny Waycott, University of Melbourne

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About the presentation

The social restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have made it essential for all people, including those living in residential care, to use technology to stay connected with loved ones. Aged care homes, however, are complex environments where it can be very difficult to use communication technologies that other people may take for granted. Video calling tools, such as Skype, Zoom, or Facetime, offer the opportunity for aged care clients to connect with loved ones, but using them effectively requires significant support from care home staff, as well as careful coordination with family members. This presentation will report initial findings from an interview study that aims to understand the experiences of family members and staff working in aged care who have supported clients to use technology for communication with loved ones during COVID-19 restrictions. Drawing on stories shared by interviewees, the presentation will highlight key lessons we can learn from care staff and family members’ experiences to inform the effective use of technology for communication in aged care in the future.   

About the presenter

Jenny Waycott is an Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems, at the University of Melbourne, working in the interdisciplinary field of human-computer interaction. Her current research, funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, is examining how emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and social robots, are being used to provide social and emotional enrichment in later life, especially in aged care. Her research aims to understand the opportunities and challenges these technologies provide, and to inform the future ethical design and use of emerging technologies in aged care.

Further information: [email protected]

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