Housing association Blackwood will its provide residents with tablets to help keep them more digitally connected, despite most being currently ‘shielded’ in their homes.
So far, the technology has led to an 800% increase in customers able to stay in contact with friends and family.
The tablets use Blackwood’s CleverCogs software, which enables people to communicate via video chat, contact carers, watch television shows, access important information and receive calendar reminders of care visits and medication.
The system also allows users to attend GP appointments through the NHS service, Near Me, which is linked with more than 30 GPs across Scotland.
Anne Jenkins, Blackwood’s Innovation Delivery Manager, commented: “As an organisation, we understand and appreciate how uneasy and stressful the current lockdown situation is for many of our customers and their families.
“CleverCogs gives our customers and families some peace of mind in that they can stay fully connected throughout this, so reducing feelings of loneliness, anxiety or isolation.
“Where previous there was a reluctance to use CleverCogs as a communication tool, now customers are freely using it to keep in contact with friends and families.
“We personalise every CleverCogs device, which has had huge impacts on our customers’ lives. Being digitally connected has the opportunity to change people’s lives – it opens their horizons to a whole new online world.
“In the current circumstances, it’s even more important that we facilitate every measure possible to ensure our customers have access to the required care and communication to allow them to continue living a fulfilled life as independently as possible.”
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CleverCogs has been implemented across all of Blackwood’s care services, as well as being the ‘hub’ for each of its Blackwood properties. Within the Blackwood Houses, the system allows customers to control lights, heating, doors and blinds.
As well as the new devices, the company is also running its new #ImInAwe campaign which aims to shine a light on the important front-line role care employees are playing, to encourage businesses and individuals to look at ways they can show gratitude.
It’s estimated up to 150,000 staff work in the social care sector, providing care to people in care homes and retirement developments as well as care-at-home services. The social campaign is spreading online with the hashtag #ImInAwe to show collective support.