TORONTO, ON–Bayshore HealthCare, one of Canada’s leading home and community care service providers with more than 350,000 clients across the country, has partnered with Amazon to donate 1,000 Fire Tablets to help support isolated seniors, through their Bayshore Foundation for Empowered Living charitable division.
According to Statistics Canada, the impact of social isolation and loneliness on health and wellbeing is a public health issue, with an estimated 525,000 Canadians aged 65 and older who are feeling socially isolated, based on the Canadian Community Health Survey – Healthy Agingi.
Moreover, seniors with health conditions may have a greater need for social support during the COVID-19 pandemic than their healthier counterparts. This group may be at a greater risk of low social support during the pandemic due to social distancing measures implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Seniors who lived alone, seniors who resided in urban areas, senior men, and immigrant seniors were somewhat less likely to have high levels of social support than their counterpartsii.
“Social isolation and loneliness are big challenges for seniors, which have heightened because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says John Lawrence, Director of Bayshore Foundation. “Our mission is to make a difference in the community by providing compassionate care and empowering seniors. We are proud to partner with Amazon on this initiative to help support seniors and ease their loneliness.”
As part of this campaign, Bayshore will be donating Fire Tablets through a number of charitable community organizations that support isolated seniors including the University Health Network and Cyber Seniors, as well as other organizations supporting seniors. The tablets can be used to stay in touch with family and friends, who seniors may not be able to see in person because of COVID.
The University Health Network will use the Fire tablets for patients in Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who are unable to visit with family members, and for patients and caregivers to use through their libraries. Cyber Seniors will provide the tablets to seniors in Ottawa, Mississauga and Niagara Region through their intergenerational social activity and learning program that teaches seniors how to use the internet, as well as provides seniors with support, companionship, and connection.
“We support Bayshore’s mission to provide care and empower seniors,” said Marc Whitten, vice president Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. “We hope our donation of Fire HD 8 tablets helps continue that mission and provides aging Canadians new ways to stay entertained and connected to loved ones during these challenging times.”
Bayshore HealthCare also has a number of other initiatives supporting isolated seniors during COVID-19:
UHN Open Lab Friendly Neighbour Hotline – This program matches community volunteers with isolated seniors to help with grocery shopping and delivery. The Bayshore Foundation for Empowered Living supported this program through a financial donation.
Support from the Bayshore Foundation to Community Home Support – Lanark County’s Meals on Wheels program and various other initiatives.
About Bayshore HealthCare
Bayshore HealthCare is one of the country’s leading providers of home and community health care services and is a Canadian-owned company. With over 100 locations across the country, including 65 home care offices, 13 pharmacies and 81 community care clinics, Bayshore has more than 13,500 staff members and provides care to over 350,000 clients annually.