20 Mar 2020 | UK
One Family has announced its partnership with tech solutions company The Tekk Group to provide free tablets to the elderly in care homes so that they can connect with their loved ones amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
In an initial rollout of the initiative, 300 iPad Airs have been pledged across 25 care homes, managed by leading providers Athena Care Homes and Hallmark Care Homes. In the weeks ahead and as the crisis develops, One Family and The Tekk Group anticipate delivering hundreds of iPads across care homes in the UK.
UK health secretary Matt Hancock announced earlier this week that those over the age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months to help protect themselves from coronavirus. Following government advice, more and more family members are avoiding physical contact with their elderly loved ones, with visits to care homes and other such facilities being discouraged.
Mala Agarwal from Athena care home remarked: “This is exactly the kind of support we need and it’s so refreshing to see companies use innovation and technology in a bid to enhance connection during a crisis. Our elderly residents rely on their interaction with family and friends, so these iPads will go a long way in maintaining that through FaceTime and Skype but also opening up new and interesting avenues for them – digital board games, reading ebooks – it’s a brilliant way to keep our residents actively engaged.”
San Malik, Director of The Tekk Group, said: “I’m really delighted to be partnering with One Family for this initiative. In a time of crisis, it’s imperative that we all band together. We live in a digital age, so we should all be thinking about how tech advancements can be used to support those most vulnerable.”
One Family Chairman – Sharif Banna, MBE – stated: “We already know this pandemic will significantly affect the elderly and most vulnerable in our community, so it’s essential that we provide adequate support for them. We are thrilled to be partnering with The Tekk Group – they are innovative tech leaders in their field and it’s initiatives like this that have the power to positively impact people in uncertain times.”
Age UK estimates that in England, there are approximately two million people over the age of 75 who live alone and more than a million can spend upwards of a month without speaking to a family member, neighbour or friend.
One Family Chairman – Sharif Banna, MBE – added: “We already know how negatively isolation and loneliness can affect people, so we are eager to roll out this initiative and ensure families can maintain connection with their elderly loved ones and provide them with reassurance during these trying times.”