By TOUCH Community Services
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted lives and impacted us in unprecedented ways. This crisis ushered us into rethinking the way we do things, accelerating the digital learning journey for seniors and how we might support them to gain these skills.
At TOUCH, we believe that technology is a key tenet of our community enablement efforts to upskill residents, turning them into resources to support ageing in the community. The COVID-19 outbreak provided the impetus for the community to be mobilised to help seniors get onto various digital platforms to stay connected with friends and family, access resources and also engage services.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the experience from our Digitally Ready Seniors (DRS) programme, a collaboration by TOUCH and Facebook since 2019, showed the digital capacity and potential of seniors. With training from TOUCH’s Cyber Wellness Coaches, 200 seniors learnt how to access digital platforms in a safe and secure manner. Since COVID-19 struck, the DRS’ experience motivated TOUCH to set up ‘TOUCHpoint News’ to disseminate online resources to seniors who are socially isolated as a result of safe distancing measures.
Here are some highlights:
Started ZOOM sessions (Buzz433), facilitated by TOUCH’s Cyber Wellness Coaches to help seniors stay well socially, mentally and physically. The topics covered include cyber wellness, mental wellness, physical wellness and social wellness.
Set up ‘TOUCHpoint News’ on WhatsApp and TOUCH website to help some 160 seniors access a depository of online resources to stay physically and mentally fit.
Worked with TOUCH’s therapy team to conduct virtual exercises for residents from TOUCHpoint@AMK 433.
Introduced Telerehabilitation sessions to complement the current therapy sessions and provide for a more sustained effort for seniors to prevent further deterioration of functional status.
Partnered with Tan Tock Seng Hospital to continue running the Community Health Post through virtual consultations.
Partnered with the National Arts Council to be part of its Digital Arts Project team, working closely with artists and volunteers to explore how seniors can be engaged in the arts through digital means.
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Issue 4: September 2020