The power of connecting families, using the Cassius Video Carephone.
Jessica is 83 and lives with her dog in Bury St Edmunds. Her husband passed away eight years ago but she is very close to her two daughters Helen and Faye and her two teenage grandchildren.
Jessica worked as a teacher in Bury St Edmunds, before retiring at 60 after being diagnosed with cancer, but was born and raised in Derbyshire where her brother and extended family still live – including her niece’s family.
When Jessica was 25, she lived in Australia for three years which ‘was a wonderful experience.’ On her return journey, they took a coach through India before arriving in England three months later, which she describes as ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’.
Having had a taste of the wider world, she left Derbyshire to teach in Suffolk and to live independently from her parents.
After meeting her husband, they settled in Bury St Edmunds where she still lives. She is also proud of her independence and doesn’t need any care support – although her daughter Helen does help her out. She has been isolating during COVID-19 and said it was horrible not to be able to visit her family and not to be able to go out. Since she has had her Carephone, however, she says it is amazing to be able to see and talk to people.
“The other day it was such a thrill as my niece showed me her granddaughter - who is just over a year old - and she walked straight across the room and I saw her on the screen. It was really lovely to see her. It was the first time she had walked and they gave me a call straight away so I could see her do it. I have only ever seen her in person once before so it was such a pleasure.” Jessica finds the Video Carephone so easy to use. Helen helped set it up but she says it is simple as she just has to press the green call button.
Jessica has never used technology before. Helen previously bought her a mobile phone, however, she found it complicated and difficult to use. She also has a fall pendant – but this is the first time she has used any form of device to communicate with and is very pleased with it.
She reminisces: “I remember the days when nobody had a phone at home. At Brownies we used to take turns to learn how to use the phone in a phonebox and call the Captain – it was seen as learning a life skill! I never thought there would be something where you can speak to people and look at them at the same time. I do appreciate it!
Jessica hopes that her brother will also be able to call her through her Carephone and will definitely be recommending it to her friends at the Women’s Institute.
Her daughter Helen says, “Having the Video Carephone has taken a lot of pressure of me. Especially that she speaks her family in Derbyshire. She really enjoys using it and it has made me feel like she’s not so alone.”