Published On: 07-01-2008

The objective of this study was to explore the role of videophone technology in enhancing the distant caregiving experience of and communication between residents of a long-term care facility and their family members. Ten participants – 4 residents of an independent retirement facility and 6 family members – were recruited. A videophone was installed in each resident’s apartment, and another was mailed to the remote family member. Participants were asked to conduct a video-call at least once per week for 3 months. Exit interviews assessed general impressions of videophone communication, the relationship between residents and family members, stress, burden, and isolation. Participants were enthusiastic and emphasized a sense of closeness, the inclusion of the resident in family interactions, and reduced feelings of guilt and isolation as key benefits. New models of care are needed to challenge the existing paradigm, which often excludes distant caregivers from the care process. Technology can facilitate this process by bridging geographic distance.

Demiris, G., Parker-Oliver, D., Hensel, B.K., Dickey, G., Rantz, M., & Skubic, M. (2008). Use of videophones for distant caregiving: An enriching experience for families and residents in long-term careJournal of Gerontological Nursing, 34(7), 50-55.

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