For SPLC client, Mr. A, not having a personal computer was preventing him from being able to connect with others at a time when he so desperately needed it.
Mr. A, who used to attend in-person programming through SPLC’s Adult Day Program, has special needs due to mobility and cognition. Throughout the pandemic, he was isolating with his elderly mother, and when she died in 2021, he was left with no family nearby. Alone and grieving, his health started to decline.
To help, SPLC loaned Mr. A a tablet specially programmed for seniors and that includes one-click access to live tech support. With the tablet, we taught him how to use Zoom and now he has a routine to look forward to that includes joining friends for online exercises. “He is no longer focused solely on the grief and sadness of losing his mother. The class gives him something to look forward to everyday,” said an Adult Day Program team leader.
Mr. A and other seniors received tablets on loan through SPLC’s Live Vibrantly program, offered in partnership with the United Way of Greater Toronto. It’s just one example of how SPLC has innovated
with technology in order to ensure seniors continue to have quality care, support, and opportunities to connect with others through the pandemic.
1050 Seniors have been on-boarded onto our Virtual Care programs
Another leading way that SPLC has been using technology is through Virtual Care clinical interactions with tablets. This program, a partnership with TransCare Community Services, helps SPLC’s Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) team to assess clients and connect them and their caregivers virtually with the right support. This service has been particularly important during the pandemic when face-to-face engagements with care teams have been limited.
Many seniors have benefited through SPLC’s online programs offered through the Adult Day Programs and Active Living Centre. These programs include everything from exercise, art, conversation circles and online support groups. Many programs are offered in various languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Tamil.
While SPLC looks forward to seeing more seniors in-person in the coming year, staff will continue to be resourceful to offer new and inclusive ways to encourage active lifestyles and remind seniors that even while we are alone, we are still connected.