Earlier this week I wrote a short post about the benefits of a baby monitor in supporting life with my Dad who is terminally ill. It allows him to be in bed but still remain connected to my Mum, myself or anyone else who is at home looking out for him. There were a few downsides that I’ve discovered since – notably the constant requests for cups of tea that make you jump as they emanate into the atmosphere; some interference with the wifi when I was trying to use Skype; and it also has the risk of fuelling my own paranoia. Any of my mates who have had me babysit (especially when they are uber little) know that I doubt the tech, and if I dont hear anything for a while I end up going and watching their precious bundle of newbornness to see if their chests are rising – this week I ended up doing the same with Dad; stood in his doorway staring at his chest. I guess the reality is that this is nothing to do with technology, it is to do with the fragility of life and my own need to watch over it.
Anyhow I digress….the other downside of the baby monitor is that it is one-way, it helps us connect to Dad but it doesn’t keep him connected with us, but this does:
Take a bow the wifi enabled photo frame. This thing is amazing, it allows my folks to get photos of their grandchildren, granddogs and of course grandcat; their kids, scenery, cake, whatever. We just take a photo, email it to an email address and hey presto it arrives, usually immediately although sometimes it takes an hour or two. This device is amazing, it has been a brilliant connection for my folks to keep in touch with the everyday existence that goes on, especially when yours isn’t so normal. The last few weeks it has come into its own, Dad has been home from the hospice a week and has barely made it out of bed, but this little gem allows the outside world to come to him. It gives Dad something to look forward to (the symbol on the front lets him know there are new photos waiting), the photos arrive and loop constantly, you can sort by sender or most recent and when all else fails it’s a great, ever changing talking point.