ISLAND’S ISOLATED ELDERLY RESIDENTS HELPED TO STAY CONNECTED THANKS TO INDEPENDENT ARTS

Published at:

Independent Arts has trialled a new digital project aiming to reduce isolation for those living in residential care, cut off from their friends and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

InTouch2 tackles one of the biggest ongoing tragedies to emerge from the scourge of the pandemic. Locked away and shielding in care homes, some of the most frail and vulnerable in our community have had to endure months of isolation, shut out from the world around them and from the friends and families they love.

The challenge for the charity was how to reach this group and how to get them learning, engaged and tech-savvy enough to use these devices independently.

Article continues below this advertisement

Nic Ward, Independent Arts Programmes Coordinator, who has led the pilot, explains:

“After consulting with the Island care homes, we knew we needed to start with simple straightforward learning aids. With the help of two key practitioners (artist Trudie Wilson and tech practitioner Mark Lloyd) I oversaw the design of filmed, easy view guides which we uploaded to the pilot iPads. We then created sets of highly visual easy to follow laminated guides to accompany the films as a back-up.”

The project is now up and running in three Island care homes: Seven Gables in Totland, Tile House in Shanklin and Newport Residential and the early signs are really promising.

Nic adds:

“It was really exciting to discover that one of our project learners was planning to use the iPad to speak with his brother in South Africa via Skype on Christmas Day. To think we have helped to connect loved ones across continents at such a difficult time was the best Christmas news I could have ever wished for, and our homes’ digital champions have been essential helping to make all this happen.”

Article continues below this advertisement

Independent Arts is now seeking funding to upscale the project to involve more Island care homes in this life-enhancing programme. The charity has partnered with Age UK, the NHS and others on the Island to develop an Island-wide digital strategy aimed at improving digital literacy and user confidence in the older community and has begun knowledge sharing with the 3Ts digital project in West Wight.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian arnold
Brian arnold
18 days ago

Fabulous Island charity doing so much good work and yet hardly anybody has heard of them

Ian Graham
Ian Graham
Reply to  Brian arnold
13 days ago

Many other elderly people who are isolating in their own homes would also benefit from this scheme, unfortunately they are bypassed because they remain locked away in their own homes, they do not have the pleasure of being looked after and/or someone on hand to talk to. They are more a isolated than ever when they read stories like this. I know they would love to be shown just how to use a mobile phone let alone see and be able to use a tablet.

Nicola
Nicola
Reply to  Ian Graham
12 days ago

This is indeed a difficult time for all Ian – so sorry you have been so isolated during this period. There are some other schemes available to help in this instance, if you’re West Wight based the 3T’s IT’s project are loaning equipment and supplying training, tel. 07896 601502 or contact the West Wight Sports & Community Centre on 01983 752168. If not based in the West Wight then Claire, Digital Inclusion Officer for Age UK, will also be able to give advice on how to get connected, tel. 01983 525282. Hope this is of some help to you Ian.… Read more »

Ian Graham
Ian Graham
Reply to  Nicola
11 days ago

Hello Nicola I will try to make contact with some body you mention above. I have attempted long ago to find a way older folk who are, basically, scared to even try to use a mobile phone in case they hit the wrong button.I tried one charity and the Island council only to be met with”That’s a good idea I will keep that in mind” nothing ever came from it. Maybe there is an animated video that could be made available for others to tap into in their own homes.

Lisa Gagliani
Lisa Gagliani
Reply to  Brian arnold
12 days ago

This is always a challenge for small charities like Independent Arts. If we spend money on marketing that’s supposed to be for programmes we would get into trouble, but if people don’t know who we are, then we can’t help them either! Independent Arts have been working exclusively as an Island based charity since 1987. We have a website http://www.independentarts.org.uk and we are also on Facebook. Before covid we were delivering arts based activities to 1700 people each month. (so someone has heard of us!) and since covid we have gone online apart from a short break in Sept/Oct between… Read more »

Football Betting Site Betway
 

Join our daily newsletter

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets