Image credit: The Care Group
A recent donation by Telus to cares homes in North Saanich, British Columbia, has changed the game for seniors unable to see family visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce recently heard from a local care home in Sidney about seeking help in keeping seniors connected to families during the coronavirus pandemic. The Town of Sidney is located 25 minutes north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
To limit the chance of seniors getting COVID-19, visitation has been cut off to care homes in the province for non-essential visitors, as per guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Denny Warner, executive director of the Chamber, contacted Telus and according to the Times Colonist, the company “immediately offered to donate tablets.” The total number of tablets was kept confidential but Warner said it was a “considerable number.”
The Town of Sidney then utilized its information technology staff from its emergency operations centre to set up the tablets donated from Telus, which were eventually provided to 11 local care homes in the area and also to two home-care workers helping seniors at their homes.
With video calls now possible between seniors and their families, it has enabled care residents to stay connected. Alison Marshall, the director of care at the Sidney Care Home, said, “The residents are able to see their family clearly and hear them,” adding, “It is very successful.”
One care resident, Audrey Adrian, was able to speak with her daughter thanks to the donated tablet from Telus. “It is lovely to see my beautiful girl,” said Adrian.
A Telus spokeswoman told iPhone in Canada, “We are working with many organizations to help keep people connected – in this case, ensuring local seniors can stay connected to their loved ones through video chats.”
Earlier today, Telus announced its CEO Darren Entwistle would be donating three months of his salary, along with a matched donation from his foundation, to health care workers fighting COVID-19, in a total amount of $687,500 for purchasing medical supplies and equipment.