DIVERSEcity receives support from federal government, United Way and Surrey Libraries for its Seniors TechConnect tablet loaning library!
With the world gone virtual since the start of the pandemic, there’s one demographic that has been having a harder time connecting online — immigrant seniors.
Already faced with language and cultural barriers as they find their place in their new Canadian community, they now face added technology obstacles.
While many community-based seniors services and programs are now being held online through the likes of Zoom, vulnerable seniors may have difficulty in accessing those programs due to not having a device, WIFI or the skills to navigate the online programs.
“At DIVERSEcity, some of our senior clients do have the basic technology skills to take part in our virtual classes, including our online Community Kitchens and Food Fit program for seniors or our recent vaccine information workshops. But that’s not the case for all the immigrant seniors we serve. Many don’t have the digital literacy skills to navigate the internet. Many simply don’t have a computer, tablet or an internet or WIFI connection to access them,” says Saleh Altaf, manager, Community Programs, at DIVERSEcity.
That’s why DIVERSEcity launched Seniors TechConnect — a tablet loaning library plus one-on-one technology training for seniors. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, as well as additional funding by United Way and support from Surrey Libraries, DIVERSEcity can offer senior clients a tablet, enabled with data if required, on loan so they can participate in our seniors programs. The tablets come ready to use and formatted simply with seniors’ needs in mind.
“More than just a loan, our DIVERSEcity team also provides one-on-one training when they first deliver the tablet to the senior at their door,” adds Saleh. “They will then follow up with more training by phone to walk the senior through using the tablet! Our seniors staff and volunteers are truly amazing individuals who have been supporting vulnerable seniors throughout the pandemic and we can’t thank them enough for all the work they have been doing to prevent isolation among seniors in our community.”
Learn more about DIVERSEcity’s Seniors Services at www.dcrs.ca/seniors.