Seniors living without WiFi in times of Covid-19: a lonely story

Claudia Schoendorff
18 Feb 2021

Care homes need reliable WiFi now more than ever. With visitation to care homes being closely regulated by local governments, restrictions on group sizes becoming more and more prevalent, and an ever changing lockdown system in place, senior care homes need to give their residents the best tools to access their family and friends in a safe manner. Covid-19 has broadened the divide between those with access to the internet and those without. Whereas some believe technology itself has played a part in the exclusion of older people, others believe that it is a helpful tool to help them create and maintain social connections. Maintaining social connections in times of Covid is a crucial way to battle loneliness and isolation. Even though digital contact is not a sufficient replacement to face-to-face contact, it has proven to provide a sufficient degree of comfort, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness's recent report.

Anticipating the digital shift for senior residences

Digital exclusion in the senior market has only expanded the social exclusion this group already experiences. Access to the internet is not only vital to assist senior residents at care homes stay connected to friends and family, but it has also given them the chance to life-enhancing activities. Video streaming service Youtube has opened doors for learning, entertainment, and new-found hobbies for many. Video conference services Zoom and Skype have assisted those in self-isolation stay close to their loved ones during the hardest months of the pandemic. But why are senior residents at care homes not given the chance to be included?  

A shift towards digital investment in care homes is starting to arise in many communities across the country. With charities like AgeUK, Ageing Better and Campaign to End Loneliness all mentioning the benefits of technological integration at care homes as a way to combat loneliness and exclusion in the care home community, local governments are pushing funding into the public sector for the digital gap to be diminished. They understand that a digital shift is needed and have set goals to incorporate techcare and telemedicine as part of the care services to people in senior homes by 2025.

A survey done to 200 participants over 70 y/o by Silk Road Marketing found that, when ranking the importance of facilities in care homes, WIFI got a 7.68 out of 10 in appeal, with gardens coming in at a close second place. With the right WIFI service, residents can enjoy fast and reliable connections with reach beyond their bedrooms. They can be more independent, using IoT (Internet of Things) to have a fully automated bedroom, allowing them to control the temperature, open blinds, change the music, or simply call their family with a click of a button, all from the convenience, and safety, of their rooms. WiFirst’s tailor-made network can make connectivity seemingly easy to use throughout the building so residents can stay connected in the home or from the garden!

A solution for your residents, your staff, your guests...

There are three main demands WiFi in care homes need to meet: the residents, their visitors, and the staff. Offering a great, secure service that can meet all three demands will elevate the reputation of the home, increasing the interest of future residents and families to invest into the care home that has their best interest in mind.

Let us take care of the fuzz and let your residents enjoy Fast Fibre connection. With our 24/7 technical support, you don’t need to worry about failing to meet any expectations. The network is monitored continuously by a support team who can intervene remotely or on-site as required. Connect as many residents and as many devices, at a reliably fast speed without a worry! 

With Wifirst WiFi as a Service, your building can be set to deliver the best quality fully serviced WiFi so that your residents don't have to spend another day feeling alone. Give your residents the quality of life they deserve. Include them in our modern society. Open the doors to new experiences.