Published: 22nd Aug 2013
Not enough of the UK's care homes provide their residents with internet access.
This is according to care home information website carehome.co.uk, which has carried out new research on the issue.
It found only a fifth of the country's 20,000 care centers provide their residents with a web connection and has called for this to be addressed.
Davina Ludlow, carehome.co.uk director, stated: "We would like to see more care homes giving residents access to the internet. ICT should be an integral part of life in a care home."
"The internet can be crucial in giving older people and people living with disabilities back their independence and stop them feeling so isolated. They can shop online, order books and DVDs, chat to family and friends using Skype," she added.
The website pointed to Manchester-based dementia care home EachStep Blackley as an example of how internet access can improve the lives of people living in care.
Deputy manager of the center Phil Benson said he thinks it is important for residents to be able to go online as it allows them to remain a part of the community and stay in touch with modern society.
He added some of the people at the care home use voIP programs like Skype to communicate with relatives, while others log on to the web for online shopping. Meanwhile, the staff and residents will go on the internet to look at potential day trips and decide where they would like to go.
Baroness Sally Greengross, chief executive of think tank the International Longevity Centre-UK supported the calls for increased web access and said she is disappointed so few care homes are currently connected.
She claimed this issue needs to be addressed if elderly residents are to be fully included in modern society and have the highest quality of life possible.
Care homes that are looking for a fast and reliable internet connection could benefit from satellite broadband.
Posted by Craig Roberts
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