Scottish Care, today launches the Tech Device Network – an initiative to help connect individuals supported by Scotland’s care services with their loved ones.
With social distancing measures in place and visits to care homes being suspended to protect staff and the elderly, we need to be looking at smart ways to bridge the gap and bring people together.
The idea was started when publicist Jenn Nimmo-Smith, Director of Electric Shores, was concerned about her mum during the coronavirus lockdown. She was able to video call with her mum on an iPad but was aware that not all residents would be able to have face-to-face communication. While social care workers are doing what they can to maintain connections, this initial approach has led to today’s appeal to help ensure that more families and loved ones can stay in contact.
We are looking for
Any device which can be used to enable social connection e.g. through apps and internet connection. This includes tablets, laptops, smart TVs and larger models of smartphones.
For security and safety reasons, devices should ideally be in new/unused condition or have been minimally used. Devices should be donated with any required accompaniments e.g. chargers or remotes.
To protect people’s privacy, donated devices should be cleared of any personal information/data and protected against malware.
Can I lend rather than donate?
Ideally, we’d be looking for devices to be donated to services at this time. However, we may be able to help with the loaning of devices in certain circumstances – please get in touch with us to discuss this.
Is it safe to donate?
We ask all donors to follow current infection control and hygiene guidance to ensure that donated devices are, as far as possible, clean and safe. We will also liaise with donors and recipients around the safest way to collect or deliver devices.
How will my donation be used?
Any donated device should be used for the sole purpose of improving the wellbeing of individuals receiving support. We will be asking people to use the hashtag #TechConnectsCare on social media to share the ways in which devices are making a difference to their service!
Social care workers are at the front line of protecting the most vulnerable age group right now as health and care services unite to fight coronavirus. They will play a critical role in relieving pressure on hospitals over the weeks ahead. Residents of care homes and people supported in their own homes may feel anxious and the ability to see a familiar face and talk to their loved ones will help alleviate some of the anxiety they will be feeling.
Jenn Nimmo-Smith, said: “I’m super happy to have partnered with Scottish Care to launch this Tech Device Network. As my Mum is in a care home, now more than ever video calling is going to be our lifeline to connect. My hope is that this will help other families and those with loved ones who they can’t visit given the current Covid-19 pandemic to stay in contact and enable that connection that is so important and vital to our relationships. I’d also like to send my love to all the people going through this just now, you’re not alone and we can get through this together.”
Becca Young, Policy & Research Manager at Scottish Care, said: “The current Covid-19 pandemic is impacting all of our lives in unprecedented ways and making us think differently about how we remain connected to each other whilst physically distanced. We are delighted to partner with Jenn to launch this Tech Device Network, supporting the wellbeing of our older and vulnerable citizens receiving care here in Scotland through access to technology. Many are likely to be experiencing significantly reduced physical contact and social engagement as a result of the current pandemic and this initiative is a positive way in which we can keep our communities connected.”
If you can help keep families connected during this crisis, join our appeal today.