JFS launched a new initiative to provide older adults with tablets to connect with family and friends and use services during the pandemic.
Three hundred clients of JFS Older Adult Services did not have electronic devices connected to digital resources and communication. They face higher risks with COVID-19 and often feel isolated at home. JFS has delivered tablets to more than 100 of these clients.
“We’ve made sure that technology support and tutoring was available and that they could connect with them remotely,” says Program Operations Manager, Rachel Ohlhausen, MSW.
JFS interviewed clients to understand their needs, interests, and fears about engaging online. The tablets are each adapted to give clients simple access to activities and apps they want to use. Training covers everything from device usage to how to avoid fraud and scams.
Clients have already expressed gratitude. One man didn’t have an email to use, and JFS helped him set one up, overcoming that barrier. These simple impediments help older adults stay relevant.
The initiative is empowering for older adults as they can chat with loved ones, order groceries, and use telehealth services. As one client stated, “JFS is giving me a whole new life.”