By: Karen Anne Blakely, Director of Community Programs
Abbotsford House has commenced a special Seniors Tablet Project. The Champlain Community Support Network secured a collective purchase of internet-enabled tablets to be used by seniors and adults with disabilities in their homes in the community. Abbotsford House was given 10 tablets. The funding was secured through the provincial government, so there would be no cost to the client for use of one of these tablets.
The Royal Bank of Canada Foundation has generously donated an additional 12 tablets and protective cases for the tablet project.
Abbotsford House is also pleased to receive funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) for the Abbotsford Seniors Stay Strong project, which includes a tablet loaning program to ensure seniors who experience barriers get the technology and help to use the technology to reduce isolation. The funds will pay for some tablets and accessories to loan to seniors, some online activities, training and wages.
All the tablets are android-based and are intended to be used by clients to access virtual care, participate in social and health programs, as well as help the older adults to engage with family and community through online platforms. The intent of this Seniors Tablet Project is to reduce barriers and support seniors and adults with disabilities living in community. Some seniors will require a lot of support to use the tablets and others have tech savvy family members who are able to assist them and they just require the tablet to get started.
Nick Bermudez is the staff person overseeing the project. He recently moved into a Program Facilitation position at Abbotsford House and he is looking forward to connecting with the members and clients of Abbotsford about this project. He will be setting up the tablets, promoting the program, dropping the tablets off at seniors’ homes, checking in by telephone and online. Nick will be supporting participants to use the tablets and connect members and clients to virtual programs, services and apps that interest them.
Over the next year, Nick will work with seniors to learn their interests, determine their abilities to use the tablets and offer some training. By the end of this project more seniors will have options to stay connected with others, get what they need online, get answers to questions they have about health and wellness or even book appointments with their doctor online. Perhaps some people will become active on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok! Others might play word games with their friends or listen to podcasts! We hope some will want to sign up for Zoom classes at Abbotsford House to learn a new language, do a fitness class or art class. These new technical skills will be useful now during the pandemic when we are restricting our movements and beyond during times when it is not possible to go outdoors due to inclement weather or moments of poor health.
Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+. We are the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home. Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca