Best Buy Canada is helping seniors get connected online. Teaming up with Cyber-Seniors and student volunteers at the Kiwanis Care Centre, Best Buy is putting technology in the hands of seniors at this residential care facility in North Vancouver.
“With technology adoption rates for seniors growing, we are seeing an increased need to make the right tools and training accessible to more seniors,” said Moira Chicilo, Director of Communications and Community Relations, Best Buy Canada. “The Cyber-Seniors documentary highlights the transformative effects that connectivity, provided by youth mentorship and technology, can have on the lives of seniors. When we learned about this program, we were inspired by its potential for youth and seniors in our community and wanted to bring it to life with the help of our Geek Squad.”
With the support of students from Windsor Secondary who are part of an intergenerational volunteer club at the Centre started by high school student Tatiana Fortin, the residents at the Kiwanis Care Centre are learning how to use tablets to search the Internet and play games, connect with family and friends through Skype, and are even incorporating games on the Wii U into their daily physical activities.
“The Cyber-Seniors program was started after my two sisters were inspired by our grandparents who learned how to use the Internet at 80-years-old and it completely changed their lives. We wanted to bring this experience to other seniors to help them reconnect with family and friends through technology,” said Saffron Cassaday, Director/Editor of the Cyber-Seniors Documentary. “We were so happy to hear that Best Buy was moved by our film and wanted to bring this program to their local community. This donation of technology combined with the guidance and support of the student volunteers will have a significant impact in the lives of these seniors.”
For this program, Best Buy donated five Microsoft Surface tablets, an HP Desktop computer, an LG webOS SmartTV, an LG SoundPlate, a Singing Machine Karaoke machine and a Wii U gaming system to the Kiwanis Care Centre. The Geek Squad team came into the Centre over the summer to set everything up and the Windsor high school students (trained by Cyber-Seniors) took it from there, immediately starting to work with the residents to show them what this technology can do.
Best Buy documented the journey through a short video highlighting how technology can impact the lives of seniors:
“We know that individuals who feel connected to their community feel a better sense of health. The Cyber-Seniors program presents a huge opportunity for our residents to not only stay connected with their community and family through technology, but also continue learning new skills which can contribute to an improved quality of life,” said Kelly Foston, Recreation Therapist and Activities Program Coordinator, Kiwanis Care Centre. “We are so thankful to Best Buy for making technology accessible to our residents and for introducing us to the Cyber-Seniors program. We feel like the possibilities that can come from this are endless.”