Local not-for-profit helping seniors stay connected during physical distancing
A group of local volunteers is working to help seniors stay connected during this period of physical distancing. Connected Canadians, a not–for–profit aimed at breaking down technology barriers for the older generation, is finding solutions to continue to offer support in different ways.
Ottawa Community Housing and Connected Canadians have been working together for the last year. Part of the partnership involved workshops with 10 residents receiving one-on-one help with their smart phones and laptops. Now that they can’t hold in-person meetings, Co-Founder Emily Jones Joanisse said volunteers are able to offer remote help.
Aside from helping residents learn how to use email, Facebook, YouTube, internet and texting, Connected Canadians are also helping to provide some social gaming for seniors who are feeling isolated.
One or two volunteers will work with a small group (2-6 people) to play an online word game, such as Pictionary or Scrabble.
“It is allowing people to play and connect to video and audio chat for social interaction,” said Jones Joanisse.
The internet can open up a whole world for seniors, connecting them to family, and things such as music and recipes.
“Opening up the digital world to those who find technology challenging is invaluable. Being connected online has so many benefits, including breaking down social barriers and linking senior tenants to others,” said Stéphane Giguère, OCH CEO.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR SOCIAL GAMING
- Reliable Wi-Fi
- Passwords for downloading games and apps
- Phone number of participants so volunteers can help with set up
- Device with a larger screen and built in microphone (for example a laptop, iPad or other tablet)
- (Optional) a working webcam
- (Optional) headphones if the player will be participating from a noisier environment
More information can be found at connectedcanadians.ca/programs
Aside from just helping people use technology, Connected Canadians is working with Ruckify to find a way to lend devices to those in need. For more information, go to https://ruckify.com/blog/united-way-ruckify-partnership/