Aging Together is working to alleviate the loneliness of our older population during the isolation resulting from the pandemic.
Aging Together, the senior-focused local nonprofit supporting and connecting seniors to services and resources in a five-county region, including Fauquier County, has designated funds received from multiple sources to support their newest campaign: iPads for Seniors. This program is geared toward overcoming barriers of loneliness and boredom associated with secluded seniors, especially during this pandemic period.
A main goal of Aging Together’s strategic plan is to “support health, safety and quality of life for older adults and their families.” This has become an even greater challenge since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With older adults being especially at risk it is imperative that they are socially distant which often leads to isolation and separation from loved ones. Boredom, loneliness, depression, and anxiety ensue. Aging Together’s response to this predicament was the development of the “iPads for Seniors” campaign, a program where iPads are purchased and donated so older residents can connect with loved ones, doctors, and have an activity resource.
“We asked for funding help from community partners and got a hasty response,” says Ellen Phipps, Executive Director for Aging Together. “To date over $8000 has been collectively received from the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, AARP, the Culpeper Wellness Foundation, Plow and Hearth, and individual donations to purchase 23 iPads for area nursing homes and also for Mintbrook Senior Apartments in Bealeton. It offers some relief to know both seniors and their families will be able to connect. We are so grateful.”
These funds have already purchased a number of iPads which, with the partnership of Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services (RRCS), are being distributed. “We want to expand this program as much as possible”, says Phipps. Aging Together continues to seek funding through online donations on their website (agingtogether.org), as well as to track future recipients.
“Anyone who knows of a facility who could use iPads to bridge the gap of isolation should certainly contact us,” says Phipps. “That’s our job, connecting our aging population with resources. And thanks to generous partners, we can make that happen.”
The Impact of the iPad program
Sophia Cameron, Community Relations Director, the Villa at Suffield Meadows in Warrenton
We were delighted to receive two iPads through Aging Together’s program, and started using them immediately. It is so helpful to now have iPad’s dedicated to non-clinical use. The clinical staff uses iPads routinely to document vitals, progress notes and Activities of Daily Living documents for our residents. Before this gift, we had to share iPads with the nursing staff which, of course, took priority.
The new iPads have been used for telehealth visits, facetime calls, and capturing the social activities of our residents at the Villa which we share with families. An iPad is set up for all new residents moving into The Villa during their 14-day quarantine period. They are able to video chat with loved ones as often as they like, which helps families maintain connection during the restrictions of COVID-19.
Recently we assisted a resident Nancy Wessel on the sale of her home on an iPad. The realtor and notary needed to witness Nancy sign a number of documents in order to facilitate the closing on her home. This was accomplished through the use of the iPad from Aging Together. Nancy was very appreciative that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic she was able to complete her closing virtually. Having a dedicated iPads for social activities has definitely added to the scope of care and services we can provide for our residents.