Videoconferencing Next Best to Being There

GUEISHAN, Taiwan, June 12 (UPI) — Two-thirds of nursing home residents who videoconference with family say it was the next-best thing to a family visit, Taiwan researchers found.

Professor Yun-Fang Tsai, chairman of the School of Nursing at Chang Gung University in Taiwan, said all of the 34 residents from 10 nursing homes in Taiwan, with an average age of 75, said the videoconferencing enriched their lives, while one-third said it gave them a true picture of family life.

“I feel fabulous every time after talking with my son. Sometimes he plays a song I like on the violin, which he would never bring here. He also shared some photos with me, the pets in the house and so on,” one nursing home resident said.

“This is better than the telephone for I can see the real thing. I wouldn’t think my son is lying to me that everyone in the family is OK. I can see their rosy faces, which are very believable and real,” another resident said.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found the average videoconferencing session lasted under 12 minutes, with 12 percent making daily visits, 47 percent weekly, 23 percent monthly and 18 percent occasionally.

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