Laptops on trolleys, a projector, wireless internet connection and a digital camera are heading to a Sanctuary Care home for the elderly in Erith, Kent, after it won a £20,000 technology grant.
The grant, supplied through the Get Connected scheme, will make residents at Shaftesbury Court Care Home among the most techno-savvy in the country.
They will now be able to chat to – and see – family members from the privacy of their own rooms via laptops fitted with webcams that can be wheeled about on fully adjustable trolleys.
Managers at the home hope practical applications such as this will help overcome suspicion among some residents towards computers.
The laptops, set to be delivered next month (March), will feature extra large keys and a mouse with sensitive touch pads making it easy to use by people suffering from arthritis.
Barbara Sweeting, manager of Shaftesbury Court, on Selkirk Drive, said: "A lot of elderly people are naturally quite frightened of new technology.
"When I mentioned we were getting these computers in my weekly meeting some of them looked sceptical. But I told them they would not only be able to talk to but see a relative who is living abroad through the webcam and that seemed to get them interested.
"I think once they start seeing what they can do they will change their minds. The internet really is a window into the world – we want to open it up to them."
As well as communicating to friends and family, residents will be shown how to look up places of interest, film clips, music and other material on websites such as YouTube.
The projector will be used for staff training purposes and the digital camera to take photographs when on day trips to show family members.
Get Connected is a programme designed to encourage adult social care providers in England to use information and communication technology more effectively.
The scheme is run by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), an independent charity funded by the Department of Health that aims to identify and spread good practice in social care.
Jennifer Bernard, Consulting Director for Get Connected said: "We would like everyone who uses care services to have all the benefits that information and communication technology offers.
"We are delighted that Sanctuary Care is supporting this initiative."