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How Feros Care is changing lives for socially isolated seniors

It’s easy to associate technology with convenience and entertainment, but not a lot more. Yet for the most vulnerable members of society, it can be life-changing – and that’s something we’ve discovered with our new pilot programs,
Let’s Get Technical and Smart Home Modifications.

These innovative initiatives take our 30 years experience working with the older generation and links them to what they need most in the technological world. Featuring 10 one-on-one sessions with our tech experts, we focus on how to use modern devices
to improve their wellbeing, independence and lifestyle.

From communication with loved ones interstate, discovering social media to understanding Google Maps and keeping up with medical appointments, there are endless topics to cover, and endless ways to make a huge difference to the lifestyles of our seniors.

Erich and Edith Neumann from the Gold Coast are one couple who have seen huge improvements with the addition of just a few devices.

Check out their story below. 

Mr Neumann says that before starting the 10 week program, he and his wife were reluctant to turn on their tablet: “Before, I think I was scared of it, but now I think it’s scared of me!”

Now they’ve mastered Skype calls and regularly log into the Feros Care Virtual Social Centre to check out activities with other seniors, such as exercise classes, language lessons and health literacy programs. It’s taken their social
life to a whole new level.

With a series of Google Home devices, Mrs Neumann has secured an extra helping hand around the house. “Before we started the programs I didn’t even want to turn on the tablet. I was worried I might break it,” she says. “Now I’m using Google Home to help
me control light switches and appliances, play my favourite music and find new recipes to try.”

Google Home can also be used by clients such as the Neumanns to easily access their MyFeros portal, where they are able to voice-command to manage their services. From booking, changing and viewing services to making contact with the care team,
it can all be done without even a phone call, allowing Feros Care clients to feel confident and in control.

And for those moments when you might be feeling a little isolated… there’s always technology to keep you company. In the fine words of Mr Neumann, as he laughs: “Google listens to me better than Edith does!”

Read more about the pilot programs below and see how we’re pioneering the way forward.

The Let’s Get Technical program

Let’s Get Technical is a 10-week technology training program designed to educate and empower our seniors to use everyday technology. Our Technical Support Officers visit clients in their home to chat about their interests and teach them how to use
their own devices, such as smartphones, computers or tablets.

Seniors quickly learn how to operate the apps and programs they might like to use; this can be anything from mobile banking, MyGov and Google Maps to learning how to look up recipes, the weather and social media. By kicking some serious tech goals, our
clients end up feeling confident, accomplished and independent; and we love seeing them inspired as they learn something new that connects them with the world in a meaningful way.

Over 140 clients have benefited from over 1300 sessions we’ve delivered so far. Along the way, their confidence has increased, their anxieties have decreased, and – most importantly – their lives have changed for the better.

The Smart Home Modifications program

The Smart Home Modifications program is our way of collaborating with seniors to make the most of modern home technology, allowing them to feel more supported in their own homes. It might include virtual light strips; robotic vacuum cleaners; electronic door locks; voice activation
technology and more.

With over 70 homes becoming connected through the program, and over 400 smart devices introduced by our Technical Support Officers, this freshly dynamic home environment adapts to the ever-changing needs of people. This might involve installing lights
that turn on in the middle of the night on their way to the bathroom, or setting them up with Google Home devices so they can contact Feros Care.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more news on these pilots and where we are rolling them out to next! Or see what else Feros Care is doing to assist seniors with technology here.

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