Skype sessions at Watton residential home help to combat loneliness
- Credit: Ian Burt
It's 8pm on Magnetic Island, Australia and Su Mijic is talking to Steve Moss at Linden Court residential home in Watton.
This is one of NorseCare's residential care homes where residents have the opportunity to talk to loved ones across the world, all thanks to Mr Moss and his commitment to help others, by teaching them how to become silver surfers.
Mr Moss said: 'When I first came to Linden Court, I was at the lowest point in my life.'
Following an early diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, he was having to deal with life changing symptoms.
'I was properly underweight and was struggling with my speech. I had to pluck up the courage just to go into the canteen. Gradually, I got used to helping out and felt a real sense of purpose.'
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And as Mr Moss got to know more people, he realised through the use of technology, he could help them stay in touch with family.
Among the many residents Steve helped was 92-year-old Edith Howes, who wanted to speak to her daughter Su Mijic in Australia. And it was through using the service Mrs Mijic was able to see her mother before she died.
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'Watching Mum sitting there with great big headphones on marvelling at the screen watching me from across the other side of the world must have been so alien and peculiar for her and hilarious for me,' said Mrs Mijic.
'If it hadn't been for Steve none of this would have happened. In fact, it was on Skype that I saw Mum for the last time.'
Mr Moss also helps another resident, Dot Hall, who has dementia. He helped her to keep in touch via Skype with her son, who lives in New Zealand.
Mr Moss' efforts are just example of the way Norfolk County Council wants to combat loneliness.
This newspaper is supporting the council's In Good company campaign, launched last November, where the council is calling for more voluntary and statutory organisations to lend their support and make use of the County Council's online Norfolk Directory to promote their activities, services and events across the region.
To find out more visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany or call 0344 800 8020. People can also share their support on Twitter – @NorfolkCC using #NoLonelyDay