Alcove Covid-19 Virtual Care Case Studies (2/7) - Independent Older Adult in Essex: Ted's Story

As part of Loneliness week we are bringing you beautiful examples every day of how the Alcove Video Carephone is being used to connect families, carers and communities.

This is case study 2: Ted's Story, narrated by his family whom receive his video carephone calls on their laptop at home. 

“Sadly Ted lost his wife Joan over 10 years ago but being the gentleman he is, he is still madly in love with her and misses her dearly ever day.  Since Joan passed, as a family we have all done what we can to keep Ted safe and happy. Ted is very well looked after and is taken on holidays regularly by my in laws and he has dinner with them 6 nights a week (he lets them have a night off on a Saturday). 

We get together as a family most Sundays. My husband is 1 of 4 siblings so with partners and kids Sunday dinner is normally for 15 and that’s “Normal”. 

During our Sunday afternoon gatherings I often speak to Ted about his health and how he is doing and at 86 he is a a character. Although he knows it makes me worry Ted likes to tell me that he struggles to get in the bath for a shower and has to lift his legs up to climb into the bath. I have asked him several times to consider a wet room and I know he has the money to do it but he just says “I’ll be alright”. 

I often thought what would happen if Ted became unwell, how would we know unless we check in on him!? 

Ted isn’t great with mobile phones or technology and he can just about use his landline to call his daughter. Unless we see him on a Sunday we very rarely speak. 

Prior to Alcove I tried toconvince Ted to get a pendant linked to a call centre but he is too polite to push it. He “doesn’t want to bother anyone” 

It wasn’t until a few weeks back, we were in lock down due to Covid 19 and we had a call that made my heart sink. Grandad is in hospital we think he might have had a stroke.

Now luckily for Ted he has family who live local who were able to contact him and realise he was poorly and get him the help he needed. Ted did not push his pendant! 

Whilst in hospital all visits were banned - understandably! 

We called his mobile but he was confused by the ring tone as he wasn’t used to it so didn’t answer. Ted spent a week in hospital and we couldn’t see or speak to him and got limited information when we called.

 Ted was finally fit enough to be sent home and we gave him an Alcove video carephone. It was set up so all the family were displayed as pictures so it was easy for Ted to know who he was calling. I even had a little fun and put my husbands picture of him wearing a Minnie Mouse headband as I knew Ted would find this funny. 

Ted was sent the carephone in the post and he had a bit of help from family to connect it to the WiFi. 

Ted asked me 100 questions about it, in all honestly he was unsure how he would get on with it. 

I made sure I spoke to him daily on it via both voice and video calls just so he could see the difference and become familiar with using it. 

If I was told 2 months ago Ted would be delivering an art lesson using a video carephone now I wouldn’t have believed you - but look at that picture! He is doing it. 

I have spoken to Ted so much since he has had this device and I can see the smile on his face and twinkle in his eye. 

He is loving the fact he is helping home school my kids since school is closed by doing art lessons with them and it gives him something to look forward to. 

The device is on a stand and can be moved around so he sets a little art station up at the table and settles in for an hours art and chat with his great granddaughter. 

 Ted as also been able to video call our nephew who before lockdown had an extension built on his house and via the video carephone was able to give Ted a tour of his new room. 

 It’s heart warming and I love it and I know Ted loves it too. So much so he is trying to sell one to his physio therapist for her mum."