Learning Technology Skills to be Connected

Prior to COVID-19 Juan and Sofia were active participants at the Fair Oaks Adult Activity Center for years. In late 2018, Sofia noticed a health decline in Juan, which led to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. With the help of  Peninsula Family Service (PFS) staff, Sofia found several referrals to resources and financial assistance to assist with Juan’s daily needs. Unfortunately, just as they began to have a sense of normalcy and routine, COVID-19 forced the Fair Oaks Adult Activity Center to close.

Sofia was not technologically savvy and did not have the finances to purchase a tablet or laptop to communicate with the outside world. She felt isolated, lonely, and overwhelmed.

Thanks to funding from Sequoia Healthcare District and San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, PFS provided Wi-Fi-enabled tablets and trained many older adult participants to use this valuable tool. Thus began the “Get Connected” program to use technology to provide the human connection that Sofia and so many of our older adults need. This program creates a foundation of technology knowledge to enhance other vitally important PFS older adult services programs such as Senior Peer Counseling and Get Appy workshops, a part of the Help@Hand program.

Sofia was a perfect candidate for this new valuable program. She needed help and she knew that the only way to “Get Connected” with family members, friends, activities, and resources would be through technology. She signed up for the outdoor training at the Fair Oaks garden, and additional training through ANewVista.

With Sofia’s new skills, she and Juan are able to utilize technology in multiple ways. They participate in virtual recreational activities including chair yoga and attend webinars that interest them with topics such as nutrition. They are now able to use technology to connect with family and access the internet safely. Sofia has found resources to care for herself and Juan, and now feels supported and informed.

Find the full 2021 Annual Report here: https://peninsulafamilyservice.org/reports/