Giving carers access to virtual platforms at home
Scarborough & Ryedale Carers Resource (SRCR) have found a low-cost solution to enable carers to access virtual platforms to activities whilst in their home through lockdown via a Kindle Fire.
Carers were keen to take part with virtual activities, but quite a few didn’t have access to suitable IT equipment or those who did had to share with family.
What was your response to Covid-19?
The Carers Resource were aware that in lockdown many carers would have reduced social opportunities due to their caring role and they wanted to aid them with accessing different ‘their time’ activities to support and maintain their own wellbeing.
As funding for laptops and computers were too costly Kindles would be a better solution. They provide free kindle books and online resources from local libraries, as well as zoom sessions and other virtual platforms.
The charity found some funding through the Covid-19 emergency funds and purchased a bank of kindles, which carers could use on a long-term loan basis, with consideration of a small cost to purchase in the future, once the COVID situation changes.
What is the impact and benefit for people?
With many carers also shielding, they could access virtual platforms to maintain contact with their family. Carers were able to link to others with similar caring roles to reduce the feelings of isolation. Kindles also helped with reducing barriers, enabled time out of their caring role and the ability to do something for themselves.
With a kindle, the charity supported carers with basic IT. Carers are now able to join fortnightly virtual activities such as: informal coffee, painting, chair-based exercises, online enrolment to local/county library services for access to books, newspapers, no cost/low cost online activities like virtual tours of museums, creative sessions.
Some carers confidence grew so much they are taking part in a range of activities external to our service including virtual yoga, water colour master classes, webinars on local history, mediation, etc.
Is the solution sustainable post-Covid?
Yes. Once purchased a kindle is no cost to run and the virtual platforms such as Zoom etc are free of cost to use, they have enabled many to experience a different way of communicating with services, families and friends and the benefits of reducing loneliness and feelings of low mood have been extremely positive and for some life changing.
How can I find out more?
If you want to find out more about Scarborough & Ryedale Carers Resource please go to our www.carersresource.net