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Being there when you can’t be there

10 March 2017

Communication and staying involved in the lives of family and community is vital to everyone’s health and well-being but it is not always easy for everyone.  There is a large diverse range of communication devices available that can help from big button phones through to complex Assistive Communication Devices dependent on your individual needs.

John Nakulski from Konnekt has shared the heart-warming story below about how Graham, who has a hearing impairment, uses assistive technology to stay connected with his family and friends.

Can technology really help? Only if it’s SIMPLE, says Melbourne resident Graham Christie who has a hearing impairment.


Tragedy Strikes

After his wife Joyce passed away, Graham’s world was turned upside down. She was his world, his partner for 50 years, his reason to get up in the morning. Not only did he miss her terribly, but without her help, daily life quickly became a challenge. There was little choice, and with help from his children, Mal and Wendy, Graham relocated into a local Aged Care facility.

Alone with strangers

Graham’s son, Mal recalls:

“The staff were caring, and the residents were friendly, but it’s a huge change, and Dad was used to Mum doing everything for him.”

Graham struggled with new faces and new routines. Everything was different, including the phone in his room, which he found hard to use.

No Computer Skills Required

To help Graham re-connect with family, they bought him a Konnekt Videophone.

older male with glasses and a white shirt sitting down using a konnekt videophone
With the touch of a button, Graham now talks face-to-face with family members any time, without worrying about phone bills. He happily chats to his great-grandchildren, Chloe and Leigh, and watches them play. He sees his brother in Adelaide whenever he likes, as well as others spread around the country. Graham is very much involved in their lives.

With Videophone, while talking, Graham lip-reads and observes his son’s body language. In addition, his son “types text to him” from his computer while talking so that Graham can read while listening.

“I love seeing my son in Queensland and keeping in touch is so much easier than with my other phone. The large buttons remind me that I have many family members and friends around Australia that I can call.”


Indigo's occupational therapists and speech pathologists can provide free information and advice to help people choose and access the most appropriate equipment, technology and home modifications to support greater independence and improved well-being. Information about how to access this service can be found on our website: indigosolutions.org.au 

We have a Konnekt Videophone at our Nedlands Indigo Experience Centre if you would like to trial one.