I've been in care for best part of 35 years, and it just gets better by the day. Full fibre has really opened up the possibility of everyone being able to communicate. It brings the outside world into the care home and allows the care home to take itself out in the real world.
People being able to connect with other people who they may have thought they would never see again because the devices that are available now to do it. Really, we’re here to help people live the best life they can.
This is where we hope technology is going to help those who struggle a bit with it. But the difference it makes to someone's life when it can be integrated into their day to day living is amazing.
“The response was phenomenal. They sent an engineer to survey, they came back with solutions very quickly and within a few weeks we had the technology in place to let everyone speak to everyone they wanted, anytime they wanted. Openreach really pulled out the stops to make it happen.”
Brian McNamara | Director | Flemington Care Home
Brian’s been working in care for 35 years. He spent 7 years working in the whisky industry, but it was only when he left to open a care home that he found complete job satisfaction.
Before the pandemic, Flemington didn’t have Ultrafast Full Fibre. The care home broadband wasn’t equipped to handle multiple streaming devices or multi-person video calls. It was impossible for broadband technology to be integrated into the lives of the residents at Flemington, many of whom have disabilities, including partial sightedness and restricted mobility.
“No two days are the same and some days are better than others, but when you go home at night, you realise you’ve made a difference to someone’s life- it’s worth the bother!”
Flemington had joined forces with 17 other local homes and businesses to apply for one of Openreach’s Fibre Community Partnerships – a programme for getting rural properties connected to Ultrafast Full Fibre – but the pandemic put those plans on hold. As the lockdowns extended, Brian began to see how detrimental it was to both residents and staff to be disconnected – from loved ones and from the world. He contacted Openreach directly and explained the situation.
“The opportunities are probably limitless, we’re just starting to explore the possibilities…to be separated from your family because you need care that can’t be delivered at home is hard. Being connected allows families to be part of that process…it will no longer be a one-way procedure…we’re looking at a two-way system, totally integrated.”
The difference that Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband has made to the lives of 90+ residents of Flemington care home is extraordinary. Residents with disabilities no longer rely on talking books or radios for the blind – they have Alexa integrated directly into their rooms and can change channels or order new audiobooks with a simple voice command. Everyone can connect at one, with no restrictions – whether that’s streaming TV, gaming, or chatting with friends and relatives on crystal clear video calls.
Not only that, having Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband means they can move their telephony systems and inhouse servers to the cloud and integrate apps that will allow the friends and families of residents to be an interactive part of the care programmes of their loved ones.
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