Exactly one year ago today, the coronavirus forced Austria into a nationwide lockdown for the first time. On 03/16/2020, all businesses, stores, educational institutions, but also nursing homes were temporarily closed overnight, massively limiting our social habitus. From then on, the protection of the population, especially older generations, enjoyed the highest priority. Accordingly, contact with older family members and friends was warned against. Our loved ones in old people’s homes and nursing homes suffered in particular, as they were not able to receive any visits for months and had to cope with their daily lives in social isolation from then on. In addition to self-sacrificing doctors, nurses, etc. on the front lines, digital helpers proved to be heroes in the fight against Corona.
Digitization as an opportunity
The digital age began long before the first wave of corona, but experienced a superlative boom in 2020. Separated families were reunited with the help of video telephony. Thanks to our innovative JAMES software, even digitally shy seniors were able to see the voices and faces of their loved ones again. On behalf of the state of Carinthia, we equipped the majority of our nursing homes with the JAMES tablet, the senior-friendly video telephony tablet. But also our JAMES emergency watches protected elderly people in isolation with the help of a mobile home emergency call. Relatives who were unable to personally care for their kin due to Corona were reassured by the smartwatch’s alarm function.
A year later, after a long wait, we finally enjoy relaxations and are allowed to see older family members again with compliance with various safety precautions such as vaccinations, COVID testing and protective masks. Nursing homes are also gradually opening their doors and now allow personal visits instead of digital ones. However, the added value of digitization will increasingly come to light in the coming years – not only in the private sector, but also in the care and healthcare sector. Our goal is to communicate this added value to older generations with the help of the age-friendly software from JAMESand to remove the shyness and skepticism in dealing with digital devices.