Internet & Community: Getting Seniors Connected

 

 

Seniors Struggling to Get Socially Connected

Since March 2020, older adults have had to limit all of their interactions with the outside world. Instead of enjoying conversations with their neighbors and strolling through grocery markets, many individuals have been stuck inside by themselves ordering groceries for delivery. Even the most basic interactions are now off-limits, and it’s taking an emotional toll.

Recognizing this need, Computer Reach was planning to launch a North Hills Community Outreach Project in April to get 13 socially-isolated seniors connected to the internet as a method to increase their opportunities for social connection. However, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, these plans came to a screeching halt. We knew that we had to get these older adults connected, but we had to do it in the safest way possible. After months of careful planning, we came up with a solution.

Our Shift In Approach

Before the launch of the project, our team was planning on sending multiple staff members out to set up a computer and internet hotspot in each senior’s home. However, due to the spread of COVID-19, we had to pivot these plans. Instead of sending multiple people into the homes, we brought Karen Kendall on as an external consultant to complete Tech Support Sessions. Karen was then designated as the sole person who would go into the homes, set up the devices, and provide two hours of technical support for each recipient. During her visits, Karen wore proper Personal Protective Equipment.

As of November 2020, all 13 older adults have received a computer and internet hotspot, and have also received one hour of service and setup support from Karen. Karen will be following up with each of the recipients to provide an additional hour of support to resolve any issues and answer remaining questions. During these meetings, Computer Reach will continue to follow COVID-19 health and safety recommendations to keep each recipient safe.

More Information

Through this work, we aim to get older adults connected to the resources, tools, and skills they need to remain connected to their loved ones and explore their personal interests. For more information about this project, please contact 412-444-8816 or info@computerreach.org.