The HelpAge Canada mission is to work to improve and maintain the quality of life of vulnerable older persons and their communities in Canada. They have three flagship program areas, all of which seek to address isolation and loneliness and promote social inclusion. With a goal of improving Inuit wellbeing and social equity, they developed Connected Elders & Youth, an intergenerational digital literacy training program in partnership with the Pinnguaq Association and Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre. Connected Elders & Youth was delivered in both English and Inuktitut for seven Kivalliq communities in Nunavut. A team of youth and adults trained as technology mentors went out into the communities to help elders develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to use the internet to access services and information, strengthen relationships and decrease isolation.
The program reached 165 elders, helping them gain skills in using tablets, navigating the internet, using apps and taking pictures to share with grandchildren. After the program, 95% of participants rated their knowledge of using a tablet and the internet as good/excellent, and 100% of participants agreed that the program allowed them to connect with other elders in their communities. Many elders also identified a desire to use their new skills to pass on their culture, heritage and language using technology.
Courtesy of HelpAge Canada