West Island seniors receive free iPads before the holidays

The free iPads will improve the quality of life of senior residents and their families.

MONTREAL, QUE.: NOVEMBER 25, 2020 -- Sophie McCann, executive director of West Island Community Shares, left, with Stefanie Cadou and Matt Del Vecchio of Lianas Senior Transition Support, help set up an iPad for CHSLD Bayview resident Orysia Wywiorka outside the seniors residence in Pointe Claire, west of Montreal Wednesday November 25, 2020. (John Mahoney / MONTREAL GAZETTE) ORG XMIT: 65364 - 9980

Some West Island seniors received an early Christmas present Wednesday when free iPads were distributed at local CHLSDs.

The “iPads for Seniors’ Residences” campaign was an initiative of Lianas Senior Transition Support, in collaboration with West Island Community Shares (WICS).

A fundraising effort of $14,000 enabled the campaign to supply 22 CHSLD’s and seniors residences with free iPads and accompanying stands, including the Bayview CHSLD in Pointe-Claire.

The distribution of iPads ahead of the holidays “will improve quality of life for West Island seniors and their families,” WICs said in a statement.

“The iPads will assist frontline workers in their efforts to improve the quality of life of senior residents and their families.”

With strict visitation policies implemented at long-term senior residences due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors have not been been able to see their family and friends.

Sophie McCann, executive director of West Island Community Shares, said the free iPads will help ease the feeling of isolation and loneliness felt by seniors, particularly during the Christmas holidays.

“We strongly believe that this campaign has all the key elements to have a real impact in the lives of our seniors on the West Island,” she said.

McCann said there are plans to teach seniors how to use theiPads.

“In the near future, when possible and while respecting all public health guidelines, we plan to pair seniors with young volunteers, to teach them one-on-one how to use the iPads, play games, have fun while stimulating brain activity, keep them busy and break isolation by interacting with young people.”

McCann also credited the support of Matt Del Vecchio and Stefanie Cadou of Lianas Senior Transition Support for making the initiative happen.

Del Vecchio and Cadou thanked individuals and anonymous donors who contributed to the IPad for seniors campaign: “We trust the iPads will play a small yet important role in the enhancement and quality of life for the residents and their families and friends.”

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