5 ways iPad can enhance care home experiences

In residential care, face-to-face engagement is vital for wellbeing. But, over the past year, it’s sadly become all but impossible for families to visit and for normal activities to take place.

To help care home residents live their best lives in care and stay connected with their loved ones throughout the pandemic, NHSX recently rolled-out 11,000 iPads and support packages to qualifying homes across the country1.

But iPad isn’t just for emergencies – having access to these user-friendly, high-performance and secure mobile devices can really make the difference between a good care home experience and a great one.

With an intuitive interface and an expanding library of apps offering everything from health monitoring to gaming, iPad helps improve the experience of care home residents and assists staff to provide care more effectively.

There are many more reasons why all residential care facilities should consider investing in shared iPads. Here are just a few:

Connect with loved ones

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated isolation and loneliness. Being able to use apps such as FaceTime and iMessage for video calls and messaging provides a vital lifeline for residents and their families. The portability of the iPad means that staff and residents can use them from anywhere – from the bedside, the garden or the point of care. SIM-enabled models allow iPads to be used outside WiFi range.

Staff should look to undertake training on privacy and security protocols when first using iPad. The Apple specialists at XMA can assist with this training, as well as ongoing support to help users get the most out of their iPad.

Attend medical appointments from anywhere

Just as video conferencing can be used to stay in touch with family and friends, it can also be used to contact doctors and other healthcare providers. If it is impossible for these professionals to visit the care home personally or for the resident to travel to a clinic, video appointments can serve as a good alternative.

The beauty of using shared iPads for this is that care and advice can be provided at the convenience of the user. Information could then be sent straight to the device during or after the call.

Instant access to information at the point of care

Specifically designed apps on iPad allow doctors, nurses and care staff quick and secure access to patient records, wherever they may be working. In a care home environment, this can ensure that everyone is given their prescribed medications correctly. iPad apps can also help staff keep detailed and accurate notes as they work.

Health data is secured when downloaded over an encrypted connection, and never transverses Apple’s network, meaning staff and residents retain control over their data. Users are further protected by biometric security features like Touch ID, as well as regular updates and built-in safeguards that ensure both third-party and Apple apps only access data when authorised.

Bring fun and games into care

Applications can help care home residents get more out of their stay.

For example, creative apps from Apple and third-party sources can allow users to create and enjoy music or art (for example, GarageBand and Apple Books). Such apps can make all the difference to someone with limited movement or access to materials. iPads can also be used for games and entertainment, becoming sources of comfort and communal activity.

Third-party applications like Cove and Thrive have been designed to support aging patients who might be living with dementia, anxiety or other related conditions, improving quality of life.

Access NHS information

With the iPad, staff can stay up to date with NHS information, perhaps the most important of which is the secure internal service NHSmail.
We’ve seen how important access to information has been over the past year. iPad allows teams to collaborate and coordinate, ultimately providing a better experience for residents and an easier workday for staff.

Deploy devices to best practice with XMA

We know every care home is different, with its own challenges, culture and ways of working. We also know how important it is to give residents all the benefits of modern technology to make their time in care more comfortable and engaging.

That’s why our Apple device services – from deployment and configuration to device refresh and BuyBack – are all designed with your needs and best-practice in mind. The potential of iPads in a care setting is huge.