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Videoconferencing with family members enriches the lives of nursing home residents
Date:6/10/2010

Nursing home residents who used videoconferencing to keep in touch with family members felt it enriched their lives, according to a study in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Thirty-four residents from ten nursing homes took part in the study. The 18 women and 16 men had an average age of 75.

All of them said the experience enriched their lives, just under two-thirds said it was the second-best option to family visiting and a third said it gave them a true picture of family life.

"A trained research assistant helped the residents speak to their spouse, child or grandchild using SKYPE or MSN" explains co-author Professor Yun-Fang Tsai, Chair of the School of Nursing at Chang Gung University in Taiwan. "At the end of the three-month study period, all the participants took part in in-depth interviews."

The average videoconferencing session lasted just under 12 minutes. Twelve per cent took place daily, 47 per cent weekly, 23 per cent monthly and 18 per cent occasionally.

The residents were very positive about the experience. They said it gave them a chance to be part of family life, see relatives who had moved abroad and allay anxieties if relatives were unable to visit. Comments included:

  • "It is a fun and helpful activity. Although it took me a little time to interact with my family I feel fabulous every time after talking with my son. Sometimes he plays a song I like on the violin, which he would never bring here. He also shared some photos with me, the pets in the house and so on."

  • "My daughter-in-law owns a pet store. She always shows me what's new in her store, such as a new pet. It's really interesting."

  • "If my family could come to visit me in person, that would be the best way since I can see them more clearlyBut they are very busy and have no time to visit every day. This may sometimes replace their in-person visits."

  • "My son li
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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