Recent developments at the University of Sheffield could help to improve people's quality of life in care homes.
Scientists at the establishment have been working on a computer system, dubbed MAAVIS, which is designed to help older people benefit from technology.
The project allows elderly residents to make use of Skype software through a simple touch screen interface, enabling them to hold video conferences with their friends and family.
Computers are already commonplace in many care homes, but the Sheffield study found that only one in every 50 residents had ever used a standard keyboard.
Recreation therapist at Northfield Nursing Home, Caroline Twist, said: "The MAAVIS system is great. It has been enabling the residents to keep in touch with their relatives.
"When residents come into a care home they can often become cut off and isolated. So using the computer to talk to relatives and to see things such as photographs really affects their quality of life."
The MAAVIS system overcomes problems by "radically simplifying the way a user can view and manoeuvre around software".