Stay in digital contact with family members and friends

Stay in digital contact with family members and friends

The project “Digital Ambassadors Rhineland-Palatinate” is currently providing various instructions and aids for digital communication in geriatric care facilities. For example, children, grandchildren and friends can use small programs and a corresponding device to “drop in” to relatives in care facilities as usual.

In times of the corona pandemic, it is difficult for people in elderly care facilities to stay in contact with relatives outside. Personal contacts are either limited to a minimum or sometimes no longer possible at all. Calling by phone is possible, but seeing people, laughing together and immediately noticing the reaction of the other person does not replace a phone call. By contrast, devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops can be used to make digital visits over the Internet, even now.

Video telephony via Skype

Seeing each other via video, hearing each other’s voices and having the feeling of being close to each other: that’s what video telephony services such as Skype or Jitsi offer. Use is usually free and easy to set up. It is even possible to talk to more than one person at the same time. Despite the Corona crisis, you can comfortably take part in the family reunion and have coffee together.

These requirements must be met for video telephony via Skype:

  • Laptop, tablet or smartphone with webcam and microphone (in newer devices this is usually installed as standard)
  • The free program Skype must be installed on the device
  • A Skype or Microsoft user account that must be created once, free of charge
  • WLAN or wired internet access
  • WhatsApp, Signal and Alternatives

Instant messengers such as WhatsApp or Signal can be installed on a smartphone free of charge. The services can then be used to contact other users of this service. Exchanging text messages like with conventional SMS is only one aspect. It is also possible to send photos, video messages and voice messages to individuals or groups in this way.

These requirements must be met:

Smartphone with installed messenger app

WLAN access or mobile internet via data tariff

Cell phone numbers of the people you want to get in contact with

Information on the technical infrastructure in the facilities on site

In order to even enable digital communication over the Internet, facilities should provide the following technical infrastructure:

A WLAN open to the residents

If there is no WLAN, a laptop, for example, can be set up in a common room accessible to all. Use can then be made by arrangement

If facilities do not provide their own WLAN access for their residents, they have the option of sharing the facility’s internal Internet connection with the residents via a Freifunk router.

Freifunk offers the possibility of sharing the Internet – without Freifunk users being able to access the institution’s internal network. The data is encrypted and transmitted absolutely securely over a virtual private network. The facilities only share a certain bandwidth of their line with others, the data remains separate. Freifunk is absolutely legally secure and also harmless in terms of data protection law. The project “Digital Ambassadors Rhineland-Palatinate” works closely with Freifunk initiatives in the state.

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