Age is no barrier to video chats.

Central Otago rest-home residents are being brought up to speed on how to access and use video to talk to loved ones.

The initiative, launched by Central Otago Reap, has been offered to all retirement villages in the area after Covid-19 restrictions meant some residents became isolated from friends and family.

Central Otago Reap manager Bernie Lepper said the aim was to give residents a chance to communicate with those they had become separated from during lockdown.

Central Otago Reap has lent iPads to facilities which did not have one, along with training.
Facilities that already had an iPad have also been offered training.

‘‘It was a real barrier for a lot of older people because they didn’t have the knowledge of how to communicate through Zoom or Face Time, or whatever,’’ she said.

Although the restrictions were was now over, residents were still keen to make use of video chats and welcomed the opportunity for training, which is being provided by Gavin Dann, of Reap.

He started the training late last week at Castlewood Home.

Resident Ron Hancock was among those who welcomed the opportunity.

He has used video chats to talk to his family in the past, particularly over the restrictions, after his family left a device at the home for him to use.

Castlewood Home facility manager Ian Cooney said the concept had received ‘‘a lot of interest’’.

Staff will measure how much use the iPad gets, to determine whether they get their own after the three-month loan period is up.

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