During the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors in longterm care facilities began to rely on tablets and other electronic devices to keep in contact with family as well as to access outside information or entertainment.
As a result, many County long-term care homes began seeking donations of tables and Smart TVs to support enhance virtual programming and engagement needs during the pandemic.
While many items were donated by members of the community, the County applied for and was ultimately awarded a grant through the New Horizons for Seniors program – a Federal grants and contributions program.
The grant provides funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors. The $25,000 grant will be used to purchase additional Smart TVs and tablets to increase virtual programming to vulnerable seniors residing in Sunset Village, Simcoe Village, Georgina Village, and Trillium Manor.
This will help to improve social connections and mental health.
“Over the past 21 months, our long-term care and seniors’ services residents have and continue to face many changes, including being isolated from their loved ones in order to keep residents and staff safe,” said Warden George Cornell. “We are grateful to the Federal Government for investing in community-based programs such as this grant initiative. By using video chat applications like Skype and FaceTime, residents can see and speak with a family member across the world, helping to make the challenges of COVID a little easier to bear.”
Since the new Omicron variant is now prevalent across the province, this equipment will continue to play a vital role in stimulating and promoting social participation and inclusion for seniors who are still isolated.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times