Residents of residential care centres have received no or only limited visits since the start of the corona crisis. As a result, residents are becoming increasingly isolated. Waving to each other through a window is one solution to loneliness, but video calling works better according to a recent survey carried out by psychology professor Jessie Dezutter (KU Leuven).
Unfortunately, many elderly people are not sufficiently digitally literate to work with a smartphone or tablet. And that’s even before setting up a video call or WhatsApp. Therefore, they give up quickly or ask for help from healthcare professionals who can hardly take on this extra task.
The TV is centre-point of the room
With its “Tellie” service, Telenet Business has now come up with a solution where everything starts with the familiar TV already in the room. Residents can not only watch their favourite programmes and channels via their own interactive television platform, but also make simple video calls with family or friends and, for example, send and view messages, photos and videos. They can even virtually follow religious services on line, check the weekly menu, or receive personal information such as appointment reminders for a hairdressing session or a session with the physiotherapist.
Sophie Pollet, vice president of marketing, Telenet Business: “With more than 3,500 customers from nearly 900 residential care centres, we know the needs in the sector. For many elderly people, the TV remains the centre-point of their room. But their habits and expectations are changing, because they can also recognise the advantages of the digital life thanks to their children and grandchildren. To ensure residents or care staff do not have to worry about new digital gadgets, Tellie works from the familiar TV. This means a virtual visit from children and grandchildren is possible at any time. We also want to bring residents of residential care centres into better contact with the outside world, to give them a feeling of home and make their stay even more comfortable.”
The interactive television and communication platform can be fully adapted to the needs of the residents or care staff. For example, communication usually provided on paper can be broadcast several times a day on the TV screen.
Indispensable source of relaxation
Since the beginning of this year, about 50 residential care centre residents have already been able to send photos to family. During the first lockdown in March, a total of 2,500 photos were sent. A pilot project, which allows residents to make video calls via the interactive TV and communication platform, “Tellie”, is already underway in the Paaleyck in Kapelle-op-den-Bos residential care centre, which is part of the Care-Ion group. The director of the centre is delighted with the opportunities it presents.
Johan Maris, COO Care Ion group: “Within the activities and communication range of the residential care centre, TV remains an indispensable source of relaxation and information for the residents. We noticed residents wanted to continue with their regular habits, and bring the television experience they enjoyed at home to the residential care centre. For example, if they have a sports subscription to follow football matches, we can now offer this to them thanks to the interactive television platform. It is a quick and efficient solution for a task that used to be very complex and time-consuming. In addition, the residential care centre and the Care-ion group are committed to innovation. New care applications are linked to the television platform, which means we can request data in real time to better tailor our communication and care to the needs of the resident. Thanks to ‘Tellie’, everything related to interactive television is now centralised, and we can arrange everything via one platform and the single point of contact provided by Telenet Business. It is so much easier.”
Telenet Business plans to roll out its new “Tellie” offer not only in healthcare, but also in other sectors such as hospitals, hotels or even retail and large corporate offices. For this new total offering, Telenet Business is collaborating with IT integrator Connectify, in which it recently bought a majority stake. Connectify is specialised in digital signage and supplying services for watching TV via the internet (IP TV). Thanks to the Connectify share holding, Telenet Business can offer an even more complete connectivity and entertainment offering.