Home Visit: Staying in touch with seniors through video conferencing

Wednesday, May 30 2012

It is well known that visiting regularly with family members is a good way of promoting the mental, physical and emotional health of senior citizens. However, with the growing use of assisted living facilities and senior communities, regular visits from family members can become infeasible due to financial or time constraints. With worries of potential dangers caused by isolation, however many creative relatives and healthcare professionals are turning to video conferencing as a way to allay some of the associated problems.

With ingenuity, one researcher discovered a potential way to circumvent the pitfalls of distance. A recent study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing recounts the efforts of Yun-Fang Tsai, a professor at a nursing school in Taiwan, who studied 34 residents to see if the technology enriched their lives.

The study results are promising. Many of the residents said that the online conferencing was fun and removed some of their anxiety while helping them stay up-to-date with relatives they seldom saw.

"This is better than the telephone for I can see the real thing," one of the participants commented. "I can see their rosy faces, which are believable and real."