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Smartphones for Residents at Camelback

Submitted by Elyse Matson, MA CCC-SLP, SLP Resource

Taylor McIntyre and Ryan Dougherty, SLPs at Camelback Post Acute in Phoenix, Arizona, have facilitated the acquisition and use of smartphones for residents. They noticed that many residents rarely spoke to family members, and they decided to step in and help.

Through a free government program, they identified skilled and long-term patients who might benefit from a free government smartphone to improve quality of life and participation in daily activities of choice. Ryan and Taylor involve the patients in the application process, and the phones usually arrive within 10 days. The SLPs can then train the patients, depending on their level of cognition and personal interests, in various functions, including calling family members, listening to music, watching videos, using social media, ordering food, taking photos, or even paying bills. For long-term residents, they also help them manage their emails, phone numbers, etc., so obtaining these smartphones is a long-term investment and a great way to continue providing services to the LTC residents.

The smartphones have helped many patients gain better access to communication with loved ones, access to complete IADLs, and integration into community settings. As of today, Taylor and Ryan have facilitated this process for over 10 residents! The team at Camelback is truly dignifying long-term care for their residents and their community.

Multiple providers are available by Googling "free government phone," and the application process is typically quick and straightforward.

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