By W Bro Frederico Pesoa
At the end of last year, residents of the Prince George Duke of Kent Court, a Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution home in Chislehurst, were surprised by the arrival of a giant gadget. (Left to right: Betty Connor, 99, Joan Mailing, 99 and David Andrews, 81)
What may have initially looked like a big TV set was a fully functional Android tablet that was partially funded by the London Freemasons Charity with a grant of £2,167.
When I arrived at the RMBI home, I found a large room with an audience of seniors attentively looking at the large 65-inch screen. On display was a giant crossword puzzle, which Valerie, a member of staff, filled in as the residents suggested the words that might fit. The look of excitement on each face was undeniable, as was the joy after each word they got right. The residents were so engaged that they continued to ask Valerie for clues and to suggest words even as I was trying to talk with Valerie about the tablet.
Not long after, while the residents had their tea, I had a chance to talk to Valerie about the impact of the tablet on the lives of the residents and the institution. From her perspective, it significantly reduced the cost associated with the provision of activities. “There’s only so much a few people can do in terms of entertainment”, she said, so they had to hire third parties to help with that constantly.
With 3 million applications available on the tablet, it can provide virtually unlimited options of things to do, including group board games, memory games, sensory apps as well as on-demand TV, Skype and internet browsing.
The Yetitablet is developed in Finland and successfully provides new forms of cognitive, physical, and recreational therapy for hospitals, care homes, and rehabilitation centres. The tablet’s large screen makes it very well suited for people with poor sight or motor skills, and its size enables new group activities. The company mentions that customers have even reported their elders to suffer fewer dementia attacks with its use.
Jigsaw puzzles are a favourite of Patricia Neville, 84
The tablet comes with a portable base. When physiotherapy is happening in the main room, the staff can move the tablet to the reception area or to individual rooms which allow the residents to take turns using it alone as well as in a group.
Offering so many activities and being so flexible, the tablet is an endless source of fun to the residents of the Prince George Duke of Kent Court and welcome addition to help with keeping people active and engaged.
This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 41 July 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.
Read more articles in the Arena Issue 41.