CARE home residents can catch up with friends and family at any time of the day or night thanks to the use of new specialist computers.
Pensioners at Dinsdale Lodge Care Home, in Seaton Carew, will be keeping right up to date with the latest technological advancements on the new system.
The majority of the 28 residents at the home, in Station Lane, have never sent an email before but hope to turn into computer whizz kids.
Thanks to the installation of specialist touch-screen computers, the residents can now send emails and pictures, and play games.
They can even chat with family members and close friends on web-based telephone provider Skype.
Staff at the home say they are the first in Hartlepool to install the computer system, but expect other homes throughout the town and east Durham to follow suit.
Vicky Kendrick, deputy manager, said: “The computers are proving really popular with the residents.
“Some of them have never used anything like this before so the staff are having to explain how to use it and guide them through, but it isn’t too complicated and they are soon picking it up.
“The computers give on-screen instructions and users can decide whether they want touch-screen or to use a keyboard.”
The computer system, called Simply Unite, is designed to keep residents in care homes and similar establishments mentally active and to prevent boredom.
And there are other health benefits as Vicky said using the computer system reduces the onset of dementia and reduces the risk of residents suffering from depression.
It comes after Dame Judy Dench hit out that labelled care home living conditions “inhumane,” a claim that was slammed by operators in Hartlepool.
Vicky added: “There are all sorts of games you can play on the computer as well as sending emails and using Skype.
“All of the residents will get the chance to use it.
“I think it will continue to prove extremely popular and I think other homes will follow suit.
“We are delighted to have it up and running for the residents here.”