Overcoming Barriers of Isolation: Aging Together’s iPads for Seniors Program

Peggy Woodward, a resident at Dogwood Village in Orange County, happily connects with a family member. Dogwood Village was a recipient of iPads through Aging Together’s iPads for Seniors campaign.

Funds received from multiple sources will support Aging Together’s newest campaign geared toward overcoming barriers of loneliness and boredom associated with secluded seniors, especially during this pandemic period. 

A main goal of Aging Together’s strategic plan is to “support health, safety and quality of life for older adults and their families.”

This has become an even greater challenge since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With older adults being especially at risk it is imperative that they are socially distant which often leads to isolation and separation from loved ones. Boredom, loneliness, depression, and anxiety ensue. Aging Together’s response to this predicament was the development of the “iPads for Seniors” campaign, a program where iPads are purchased and donated so older residents can connect with loved ones, doctors, and have an activity resource. 

“We asked for funding help from community partners and got a hasty response,” says Ellen Phipps, Executive Director for Aging Together. “To date almost $8000 has been collectively received from the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation, AARP and the Culpeper Wellness Foundation.  It offers some relief to know both seniors and their families will be able to connect. We are so grateful.”

These funds have already purchased a number of iPads which, with the help of Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services (RRCS), are being distributed to nursing homes, assisted living, and group homes in our five-county region. “We want to expand this program as much as possible”, says Phipps. Aging Together continues to seek funding through online donations on their website (agingtogether.org), as well as to track future recipients.

 “Anyone who knows of a facility who could use iPads to bridge the gap of isolation should certainly contact us," says Phipps. “That’s our job, connecting our aging population with resources. And thanks to generous partners, we can make that happen.”

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