There has been much negative press recently regarding the age care sector, but this story that will make you smile and look forward to a fun future!

Visionext recently assisted a wonderful client, Ozcare who is a non-for-profit provider of quality aged care and community support services for Queenslanders.

Ozcare’s Day Respite Centre on the Gold Coast are taking part in a pilot project that aims to improve digital literacy amongst ageing Australians. The project involves the use of SMART Board interactive technology which is already being used throughout Australian schools as a teaching tool.

The use of the SMART Boards coupled with other technologies supports a number of Community Services who have moved away from a more traditional clinical model and are using a more recipient model to engage – where everyone is included.

Sharon Guarnaccia, a Divisional Therapist at Ozcare said, “We are empowering the older Australians in our care to access the internet and increase their social connectedness as many are living with more dispersed families than ever before.”

The residence will soon learn to Skype on the SMART Board screen so they can join a growing number of older Australians engaging in tele-medicine in which patients stay in touch with health practitioners on their own digital devices at home. It will also enable them to connect with grandchildren and other family members on a more frequent basis.

Ozcare’s Day Respite Coordinator Kylie Jones said the not-for-profit aged care provider is evaluating the use of other SMART boards as part of dementia therapy across the state.

She highlighted that “It is a lot more challenging and gets those synapses firing for many of our clients, especially those who are living with dementia. But some of them are already that savvy that they have their own smart phones and we can connect those and have uploaded images onto the screen for others to see.”

“The beauty of the screen is that it is instantaneous because it is connected to the internet, so if someone mentions the name of a car from their youth – they can bring up an image, which can sometimes be quite emotional for them when they start to talk about the old days.”

Connected to the internet via its own built-in web browser, the SMART Ultra HD screen acts like a giant smart tablet, allowing users to zoom, pan, flick and swipe content found online such as images, sound and video.

There are thousands of applications that can be used on the Smart Board, including:

  • Gallery Essentials – over 7,000 learning objects including images, backgrounds, dynamic Flash files, video and audio content
  •  Sound recorder – records sound directly into your SMART Notebook
  • Multiple pen tools, including crayon and paintbrush – these can be used to create and emphasize content, draw in any colour and even convert handwriting to text
  • Insert sound – sound can be added with one click from a gallery for audio files of famous speeches, animal sounds, phonics, instruments and more
  • Multitouch support – two can work together on the surface using a pen, finger or fist
  • Gestures – zoom, pan, flick and swipe to scale objects or pages, flick an object or swipe between pages. You can also touch the interactive whiteboard to shake objects to quickly group and ungroup them

Residence are engaging with the screen daily through card games, music and images as part of ‘reminiscence’ therapy.

Games on sites like TimeSlips are bringing meaning and purpose into the lives of the elderly through creative engagement. Travel through Google enables those suffering from dementia to triggers memories of places, people and sounds makes them feel close to loved ones and happy memories.

The Visionext team loved providing the SMART Technology, support and training for this project and look forwarded to helping more Australians get & stay connected through technology.

For more information on how SMART Boards or other technology can support people in the age care environment please contact us on 1300 139 292

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