TV in care homes?
Yes, but used with images and sounds of nature to preserve the well-being of the elderly.
Testimony of Cristina Buso and Serena Rosi, educators APSP Giovanelli, Tesero (TN) Italy.
The wellbeing of the elderly in Tesero also passes through TV, but from a special channel: the Alamar Life Relax Channel, which, during the pandemic, helped the elderly in the facility to maintain a good level of relaxation and a good quality of life, despite everything.
The Relaxation Channel of Alamar Life was activated in 2019 and is used daily to improve the quality of life of both elderly people and carers. It is a tool that offers constant programming of images and sounds of nature on a daily basis.
“We looked for an alternative that would provide serenity and tranquillity, that would create an environment for the well-being of the elderly, and that would allow residents with different pathologies (from Alzheimer’s to depression to psychiatric illnesses) to live together peacefully.
Certainly the first result was to reduce all noise and disturbing elements. And as a consequence of that, to reduce so-called “behavior disturbances.”
Another positive effect: people were more oriented and attentively turned toward something. On the physical level, too, some of them felt improvements: one lady guest, for example, confirmed that she no longer had the usual headache since these relaxing images and sounds had been introduced in the hall.
The operators have also been facilitated in their work. The Relaxation Channel projections manage to give a rhythm to the care work, which is slow and gentle. The nature images stimulate the caregiver to really put more care into it and tune into the timing of some of the elderly. This slowing down can be felt in so many of the actions of everyday life: you see more, you hear more… this is perhaps the biggest change the tool has brought about.
In the serenity, in front of a forest, a flower, or other images, memories also began to surface. Or people began to sing, or remembered a nursery rhyme. The climate influenced the family members themselves. For example, a group of relatives had formed who would have guests sing in the evening after dinner in front of the pictures. The quietness had been created that allowed for conversation.
Last but not least is the sense of beauty that these paintings of nature have created in the facility. It is known that the quality of life is also given by the care and beauty of the environments. And the paintings that are projected are really beautiful, they are never the same, and they also aesthetically create a pleasant environment to be in. In this way you have much more idea of welcome.”
Things definitely changed for us in November 2020, when in fact the virus entered the facility. At that point, yes, the elderly were isolated in the rooms and those who were positive for the virus were moved around the floor.
It must be said that always this Alamar Life tool helped us. We often used these nature paintings as backgrounds during video calls with relatives or for photos we sent to them.
Said like that it seems little, but we assure you that at a time when relatives had not seen the elderly for a long time, and when everyone was worried (also about seeing the physical effects of covid on loved ones),
Having a backdrop of beauty helped so much to soothe spirits.
When we started making phone calls again in a protected way, the background was also important: it helped restore the feeling that we were recovering. At such a difficult time even that small feeling of joy and beauty helped a lot.“
Sometimes there are ‘huge’ projects, which are very demanding, also financially, and which ask the Care homes for resources that they no longer have.
But there are means, and the Relaxation Channel is one of them. It is easy to use and install, it is not exaggeratedly expensive, and it is part of this wellness project.
Ours is a job that prioritises wellbeing, that is, the person. That is what counts and we cannot allow the pandemic to make us forget that.”