A resident at Sidney’s All Care Residence learns how to use one of the tablets that Telus donated to 13 care residences on the Saanich Peninsula earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Sidney’s All Care Residence)

Tablet donation connects Saanich Peninsula seniors to family and friends

Telus gives tablets to more than a dozen senior care homes

Residents in more than a dozen senior care homes across the Saanich Peninsula can now connect, at least virtually, with friends and families as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds after Telus donated a number of tablets.

Denny Warner, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, who is currently part of Sidney’s Emergency Operations Centre, helped to organize the donation.

“We received a request from a local care home that due to the isolating regulations, their residents were restricted to their rooms and were not allowed visitors,” said Warner. “They wanted to provide a way for residents to connect with loved ones so they didn’t feel isolated.”

Enter Telus, with the company donating an undisclosed number of Alcatel A30 Tablets to 13 facilities. Warner said Telus did not want the number disclosed because it might create challenges for them to accommodate similar requests from other communities. “Let’s say it was a very generous number of them,” she said.

Warner said use of the tablets has been high, but the tablets themselves are with the respective staff at those facilities rather than the residents. “It is important that all proper [sanitizing] happen between uses so staff are responsible for that being done,” she said.

RELATED: Sidney senior grateful for stranger’s help during medical incident

RELATED: How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

Warner said the reaction from staff and residents has been heart-warming.

“We cannot thank the Peninsula Chamber and Telus enough,” said Michelle Beelby, recreation manager, at Sidney’s All Care Residence, one of the facilities that received tablets, along with Norgarden, SHOAL Assisted Living, Arbutus Senior Care, Legion Manor, Bayshore Home Health, Sidney Care Home, Helping Hands, Saanich Peninsula Hospital Extended Care, Island View Place, Resthaven Lodge, Sluggett House, and Brentwood House. “Having more tablets will allow us to have one tablet per floor which in turn allows us to do more calls with our residents and their loved ones.”

Marjorie, a resident at the facility, said the tablets have allowed her to stay in touch. “Being the age I am, I have never even owned a computer,” she said. “I have really enjoyed getting to see my friend Pamela and her dog Lexi. Connecting with them means a great deal to me. It has been wonderful.”

Warner said all recipients received information about how to use the tablets and keep them clean. Warner also credited IT staff for their contributions. “[They] spent a considerable amount of time charging them, loading them with appropriate apps and getting log-ins set up,” said Warner. “They [the tablets] will stay in the community after this pandemic is over and be distributed where they are needed most,” she added later.

The donation happened just before the release of new findings from Statistics Canada, stressing the importance of technology for people living alone to stay connected with friends and family members, order basic necessities such as food or medication online, and seek information.

But not all Canadians have access to the internet with a distinct age gap. While 91 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older used the internet in 2018, the share was 71 per cent among seniors. Older women (68 per cent) were less likely than older men (75 per cent) to use the internet.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

Tour de Rock alum is newest Oak Bay Police officer

Const. Derek Brand did nine years as volunteer reserve officer

Serious crash closes Six Mile Road on Sunday afternoon

Road closed between Atkins Ave and Old Island Highway

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read