Technology is undoubtedly a huge and essential part of our daily lives. It helps us connect and communicate with others easily. This is particularly beneficial for carers of the elderly, who tend to experience loneliness or isolation. It is important that they get peer support and networking services to overcome this issue.
Video conferencing or video chat is an excellent example of a communication technology that can provide peer support as it gives carers the chance to hold face-to-face conversations or meetings with other people. Central Queensland University (CQUniversity) Australia is in fact conducting a research project that tests the effect of video-based peer support groups on the job performance, mental health, and life of rural, regional, and remote carers.
In this project, a group of carers will have the opportunity to share information and their experiences and facilitate social support by using a group video conferencing tool, called Zoom. There are many benefits to this kind of technology. Let’s look at some of them:
Accessibility and Affordability
Carers or just about anybody with a computer, smart phone, or tablet can download video conferencing or chat apps. These tools are usually free or can be purchased at an affordable price.
Enhanced Communication with Peers
Through video conferencing, carers can build their social network. They can connect with other isolated carers and share caring experiences with each other. They can also gain emotional support, especially during times when they feel lonely or isolated.
Optimised Connection with Professionals
Carers can also use video conferencing to connect with professionals, who can help them deal with isolation or other mental health issues. In the case of CQUniversity Australia’s project, there are experienced individuals who can facilitate the video chat groups for the isolated carers.
It’s important for carers to have constant communication and connection with people who can support them and have a positive influence on them. By taking advantage of video conferencing and other helpful technology, they can have easy access to the support they need.