West Vancouver collecting donated tablets to keep seniors connected during COVID-19

With the novel coronavirus pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, the District of West Vancouver is stepping up to make sure seniors stay connected and healthy.

The district has launched a program collecting donated new and gently-used tablets for the community’s elders, many of whom don’t have a home computer.

District seniors’ services and community wellness coordinator Jill Lawlor said it has been a joy to make the deliveries.

“When we drop off these tablets to these seniors in need — and they are genuinely in need — the response has been overwhelming,” she said.

“Many of them are genuinely shocked that someone would be so kind as to just give them a tablet out of the blue, they’re not expecting this.”

The tablet program is one of several ways the district is trying to help the senior population through the pandemic.

The meal program was made possible by a donation from the West Vancouver Foundation.

However, despite their best efforts, Lawlor said there are still times when the pandemic makes working with the community hard.

“We had a gentleman break down in tears, and normally the reaction would have been to put an arm around their shoulder and just hold onto them and say it’s going to be okay,” she said.

“We had to just stand there and watch him, and that broke my heart more than anything else.”

— With files from Catherine Urquhart

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