Staying Connected Landing Page

When considering using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, video communication (such as Skype) or online local services and directories (such as NHS Inform) to stay connected to friends, family, your community and the world around you, then consider the following points:

  • What device are you going to use to stay connected with?
    • Tablet (e.g. iPad) or laptop – think about the size, have a play with one in a shop, see how it feels in your hands, can you see the icons clearly, how do you find the touch response, do you prefer a mouse or touch screen, do you prefer a keypad for typing, will you be writing long emails or short responses.
    • Mobile phone – if you prefer a smaller, more portable device then consider a mobile telephone. What do you need to use it for – just call/text or access apps and the internet? Think about a lot of the same questions and considerations as above (size, feel, and ability to be intuitive to your needs). Could using it become more difficult with time? What simpler designs are available e.g. OwnFone that just make calls? How much do you want to spend a month – contract or SIM only?
    • Television – do you have/need a SMART TV? You can also use your TV to stay in touch with people using systems such as Care Messenger and Skype. For this you will need a camera to be built into your TV or as a plug-in device to have a two way video conversation.
  • Do you have internet access at home? Do you need to install wireless internet at home (Wi-Fi) or will you use it when visiting others or in a library? If you do not want the monthly cost or hassle of Wi-Fi being installed, can your tablet use a Sim card to access the internet instead?
  • You will need an email address to access a lot of things on the internet – this will need a safe and secure password that is remembered as it is used frequently.
  • Do you need to go to digital skills classes to learn how to use the device, set up an email address, download and use apps and engage in support networks with other like-minded people?
    • This can help you build an online network of support and provide suggestions to applications on your device which they have found useful or easy to use for keeping in touch.
    • Do you want to find services such as libraries, independent groups, community run projects local to you? Websites such as link: Living it Up and other sections of this website can help you.
    • Do you need support to attend? Why not take a family member or friend with you initially?
  • Which apps do you want to use? An Apple device will work differently to others for example a Samsung device. Try both and see what works best for you.
  • Would you benefit from apps that family and friends could use to help support you such as Jointly or CareZapp? It would allow others to keep in touch with daily activities as well as your health and care needs so everyone involved can keep up to date on information about me. Think about:
    • Are you happy with information being shared amongst your friends, family, care workers, health staff? How much information do you want them to have access too? Have you given consent to the information being shared and can you access the information at any point or be supported to do so?
    • How does the information sharing benefit YOU?
  • Do you want to find more up to date and in depth information on topics that are of interest to you?
    • What websites and apps could you look at? How do you save them so you can easily find them later? Could they save you time and money as you could get a better deal online, e.g.think about websites like BBC news/weather, Bus timetables. Or shopping for food or clothing, booking holidays/events/concerts/golf tee times on line! 

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