A TWYFORD woman living alone with Alzheimer’s has found a new way to connect to her family in lockdown.
Worried for her health, Joan Smith’s family bought her a device that allows easy communication.
Ms Smith has been living with the disease for seven years, but when her husband died two years ago her condition worsened with the loneliness.
She normally spends her time in Age Concern’s day centres, but social isolation has meant that she cannot leave her flat or see anyone except her carers.
When the coronavirus pandemic first began, her son Peter Smith, purchased a device made specifically for elderly people with little digital knowledge, called KOMP.
The one-button computer allows Ms Smith’s family to easily connect through pictures, messages and video calls.
It was made by No Isolation, a company that makes communication tools for those suffering with involuntary loneliness and social isolation.
Mr Smith said: “We have previously relied on telephone contact as Mum has zero intuition to work new devices, the difference with KOMP has been that it is zero touch, and just works without any intervention from her.
“We have even been able to put on a timer so that it goes off at night, as she won’t go to sleep if anything is left on in her home when she goes to bed.”
“When she turns on the device in the morning she gets to see a flow of images and messages from the whole family.”
When someone wants to video call, the computer makes a sound and displays a countdown, allowing Ms Smith to get ready before it connects.
Mr Smith added: “It’s just fantastic to see her a few times a day and keep her spirits up – it’s so reassuring to have her be involved in family life and not deteriorating or getting depressed.”
For more information on KOMP, visit: www.noisolation.com/uk/komp/.