The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for better communication technologies across all age groups and it is particularly important for many older people who live in aged care separated from their families and friends

A new study launched by the Menzies Health Institute Queensland Australian Aged Care Technologies Collaborative aims to bridge this gap by increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of care of older adults in ageing services through technology.

Professor Wendy Moyle, Director of Griffith University’s Healthcare Practice and Survivorship Program, says aged care facility providers and older people don’t really know what they need in terms of technology, what’s available and what might help them.

“We are conducting four surveys about technological needs in aged care — from the perspective of people over 65, carers, industry providers and health professionals,’’ she said.

“We want to know what their personal needs are and the needs of their community in terms of technology. The results from the data will help develop a website that will help people and inform them of the choices available.”

She said one of the main problems with older people and technology was the purchase of items such as phones, tablets or computers that they weren’t able to operate or did not fix their immediate problem.

“So we end up with a lot of discarded technology.

“We also want to know how technology will help with mental health and active health, and find out what people currently use and what they would like to see in the future that may assist them.

“For example, nursing homes could benefit from the implementation of video-conferencing facilities to help connect residents with their families and friends if visiting in person is not possible due to COVID-19. It’s all about future proofing.”

Complete the surveys online