Spencer House - Kara Editionin Case Study section
Spencer House is a residential home with 25 beds in Birchington, Kent. Their residents often arrive with high medical needs, mobility issues and physical disabilities.
Dawn is the office manager and ensures the smooth running of the house. She joined in April and was previously a carer so understands how pressurised the job is, and how difficult it has been for residents without visits from family members during Covid-19.
When Dawn became aware of the Kara service, provided by Kent County Council, she immediately applied. She said the device has been ‘life changing’.
Before they received the device, relatives would have to call their mainline number meaning that for hours of the day, they couldn’t undertake any other business by phone or accept other calls.
She explains: “We leave the Kara device plugged in permanently in middle floor and when someone calls, we take it to the appropriate resident who can chat as long as they like. We have over 22 contacts on the Carephone and it has been extremely popular. We have had it for over two months and receive approximately 14 calls a week.
“The picture quality and sound is brilliant. It is like they are seeing a real person and so much better than a phone call or a window visit - as it is hard to hear people – but this is lovely and so clear.”
She continues: “Every resident can use it. The first time they use it, you can see the smile on their faces. One gentleman told me it is absolutely marvellous.”
Dawn says that Covid stopped so many activities they normally have at this time of year, and that the prospect of Christmas without families around was very disheartening. But one of their volunteers spotted an opportunity and has started a carol and music session every week using the Video Carephone.
“Carols by Caroline is so popular with residents and brings so much joy to the house, we all love it,” Dawn says.
She concludes: “There is such a great benefit to being able to see your loves ones, it lifts their emotional wellbeing and their spirits so much, so they don’t feel cut off. It has made a huge difference and gives us a boost to see the residents happy and excited.
What’s also great is that it doesn’t tie up our phone lines anymore, and we don’t get complaints from GPs that they can’t get through. It has released the space and time for us to get on with our jobs while residents get to spend quality time with their families.
“It works for us and has worked for them. We wouldn’t be without it now! Thank you Kent County Council”
If you know anyone who would benefit from the device, please email firstname.lastname@example.org