The smartphone revolution has made the word ‘selfie’ part of the urban dictionary. However it is usually more associated with Millennials or Gen Z’s than the Silent Generation or Baby Boomers.

Not so at Braemar Presbyterian Care’s East Fremantle facility, where an embrace of technology has led to senior residents learning the ins-and-outs of smartphone technology; with selfies being one of the favorite new tricks.

Resident Joy Hickson has a great enthusiasm for learning new skills. This includes using a phone to take photographs. Joy is pictured in this ‘selfie’ with volunteer Vydia and Braemar House manager Bernadette Samura, who has led a digital development charge that aims to challenge the stereotypes associated with aged care.

“We don’t think of our residents as ‘old people with a geriatric diagnosis’. Rather, we look at each person as an individual and work with them to build their confidence and quality of life,” comments Bernadette.

“Some of our residents want to learn how to engage with technology. Through apps like messenger and Skype they can connect with family and friends around the world which greatly adds to their quality of life.”

Bernadette is quick to point out that while technology can be daunting, a relationship centred approach is key to building confidence and achieving real lifestyle goals.

“The elderly generation is often stereotyped as being ‘unable to use technology’ but this isn’t the case. With a bit of support from our team, the already user-friendly interfaces of smartphones mean people of all ages can pick up on how to use modern technology quickly. It’s educational, insightful and a lot of fun – with taking selfies being just one step towards being confident with the device.”

Braemar Presbyterian Care provides accredited aged care and retirement accommodation to over 200 residents in Perth’s southern suburbs. It has a strong focus on relationship centred care which embraces the relationships that exist between residents, staff, volunteers and family.