How Can Link-ages Benefit You And Your Residents?

Delivering great care relies on understanding not only the physical requirements of residents and patients, but also their mental health and emotional needs. Beyond this, the wishes and desires of residents and families are key to providing high quality and responsive care. In this article, we explore the question: how can Link-ages benefit you and your residents?

Well-being In The Care Act 2014

The 2014 Care Act highlights the importance of well-being in all its forms, including “emotional well-being” in providing quality care. A core element of emotional well-being is for many peoples is their personal relationships with family and friends, and the 2014 Act specifies that the maintenance of these relationships is vital for well-being. However, it is sadly common for care residents to be somewhat isolated from their closest relatives simply due to being in a care facility. This is often made more significant as families live further apart from each other, and work and other commitments can take up much of their time.

How To Help Friends And Family To Keep In Touch With Their Relatives

Undoubtedly, whilst personal, face-to-face visits from family and friends are the ideal, it is inevitable and unavoidable that this is not always possible, for a range of reasons. It may be that some relatives can visit, but others cannot due to location or work patterns. To maintain these relationships, therefore, it is essential to find other ways to keep in touch.

For many people, technology provides an easy and convenient way to do this, but for many older people, the kind of platforms commonly used by younger or more tech savvy relatives are inaccessible. Despite this, the prevalence of use of technology in this age group is increasing rapidly, and the CQC recognise the beneficial impact that it can have[1], even stating that it can successfully be used to improve “communication with friends and family”, amongst a myriad of other uses. Technology has the potential to play a role across all five of the CQC’s key question areas[2], and the benefits that Link-ages could bring to you as a care provider are shown in the table below.

CQC question area

Potential benefits of Link-ages

SAFE

Messages and other contact options are safe from external view
Residents protected from the risks posed by other communication forms
Managers can oversee the use of the platform

EFFECTIVE

Information readily and easily shared between family, resident and carers
Allows sharing of the ‘nice’ as well as the ‘necessary’

CARING

Speeds up communication with the family
Shows family the positive experience their relative is having
Residents have the freedom to explore their pictures and memories in their own time

RESPONSIVE

Tailored to the needs of the resident and family
Relationship maintenance key to emotional well-being
Monitoring of use allows management and staff to understand how residents are doing

WELL-LED

Effective communication with family
Information sharing helps homes understand ‘who’ residents are and how best to care for them
Data can be used to understand patterns and provide better care

Consent In Care, Data Security & GDPR

A key element of care is that of consent. This applies to the use of technology as well as medical and personal care. This can cause concern for managers who, understandably, are worried about issues regarding data security, GDPR and online safety, and the added complication this can cause. However, like any other form of activity requiring consent, these issues can be easily resolved.

Privacy & Safety Are At The Heart Of Link-ages

Link-ages takes privacy and safety very seriously, and our privacy notice explains how data is collected and used by us. This privacy notice can be used by staff, families and residents to decide whether to give consent to use Link-ages. For residents with capacity, this can be done quickly via a tick box in the app. For residents who require more help, a ‘best interests’ decision can be made in consultation with the relevant parties. Ultimately, the use of Link-ages allows residents and families to easily connect, improves emotional well-being, and this will be beneficial for residents and families, balancing their needs and facilitating important family ties.

Our Trial For Forward-Thinking Care Homes

Link-ages invite forward-thinking care homes who are looking to become a leader in their use of technology to apply to join our care home trial. We know that you are passionate about delivering great care and we want to help you stand out from neighbouring care homes. Care Homes that successfully join our trial will benefit from free access to our apps, training and the opportunity to inform future system developments. This entirely risk-free way to trial Link-ages is a unique opportunity that we can only open to a limited number of care providers.

References

[1] https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/all-services/how-technology-can-support-high-quality-care

[2] https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/all-services/innovative-use-technology-can-help-answer-our-five-key-questions#telecare

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