by Kristopher Thompson, NEAT, Smart Technology Specialist

A few weeks ago, Independence Northwest reached out to me with an urgent referral for the “Stay Connected” program. The referral was for a woman who, like many facing social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, lived alone and had mobility challenges that prevented her from getting out to see her doctors. She had some very important medical appointments coming up and she needed access to telehealth.

I immediately reached out to her for a remote consultation to determine the best technology to get her better connected. Due to her severe hand tremors, she also needed a hands-free solution. Fortunately, the “Stay Connected” program had a lending library that we could use. The library contained the perfect Samsung Galaxy tablet and case, which also doubled as a stand. I shipped the items and she received them by the end of the week. We reconnected by phone and I walked her through the set-up process to ensure she had the apps necessary to provide the connectivity she needed.

This impact was instant and powerful, and she now regularly video chats with her doctors and loved ones, hands-free! Due to the generous funding from “Stay Connected,” we will be able to replace the tablet and case in our lending library and continue to have a great impact as a result of this program.