Being there when you can’t be there

Communication and staying involved in the lives of family and community is vital to everyone’s health and well being but it is not always easy for everyone.  There is a large diverse range of communication devices available that can help from big button phones through to complex Assistive Communication Devices dependent on your individual needs.

John Nakulski from Konnekt has shared the heart warming story below about how Graham, who has a hearing impairment, uses assistive technology to stay connected with his family and friends.

Graham seated in front of his videophone where he can see one of his granddaughters playingCan technology really help? Only if it’s SIMPLE, says Melbourne resident Graham Christie who has a hearing impairment.

Tragedy Strikes

After his wife Joyce passed away, Graham’s world was turned upside down. She was his world, his partner for 50 years, his reason to get up in the morning. Not only did he miss her terribly, but without her help, daily life quickly became a challenge. There was little choice, and with help from his children, Mal and Wendy, Graham relocated into a local Aged Care facility.

Alone with strangers

Graham’s son, Mal recalls:

“The staff were caring and the residents were friendly, but it’s a huge change, and Dad was used to Mum doing everything for him.”

Graham struggled with new faces and new routines. Everything was different, including the phone in his room, which he found hard to use.

No Computer Skills Required

To help Graham re-connect with family, they bought him a Konnekt Videophone.

With the touch of a button, Graham now talks face-to-face with family members any time, without worrying about phone bills. He happily chats to his great-grandchildren, Chloe and Leigh, and watches them play. He sees his brother in Adelaide whenever he likes, as well as others spread around the country. Graham is very much involved in their lives.

With Videophone, while talking, Graham lip-reads and observes his son’s body language. In addition, his son “types text to him” from his computer while talking so that Graham can read while listening.

“I love seeing my son in Queensland, and keeping in touch is so much easier than with my other phone. The large buttons remind me that I have many family members and friends around Australia that I can call.”

The Independent Living Centre WA’s occupational therapists and speech pathologists can provide free information and advice to help people choose and access the most appropriate equipment, technology and home modifications to support greater independence and improved well being. Information about how to access this service can be found on our website here.

We have a Konnekt Videophone at our Nedlands display centre if you would like to trial one.

Alternatively you can visit NED our online National Equipment Database where you can search over 10,000 assistive technology and equipment products. Search by key word, advanced search or by browsing through the products by topics. You will find information about the product including a description, specifications and suppliers Australia wide.

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