Jenny Johnstone-Smith and her staff saw the need as soon as COVID-19 restrictions caused them to shut down in-person services at the Cody Senior Center.
She said they began putting classes on the internet, but not every senior had access.
“How do we get to the people who are most isolated?” she recalled them asking.
Now they have a solution.
The Cody Senior Center will be able to provide devices and internet service to seniors in need thanks to a Tech2Connect grant from the Wyoming Center on Aging.
The funds will be used to connect older adults and eligible adults with disabilities with remote services, health care and supportive activities and services. Funds will primarily help to combat the pandemic-caused social isolation experienced by many seniors, Johnstone-Smith said.
The center is purchasing 25 Kindle tablets to loan to seniors who need a device and will have the funds to pay a year of monthly internet service fees for up to 25 people.
The center has also partnered with the Wyoming Assistive Technology Program to provide training videos to assist older adults in learning about the technology that can ensure they have access to social services and health care, and keep them engaged with family and friends.
For details on the educational videos, visit uwyo.edu/wycoa. Center staff can also provide direct in-person tech support to help seniors set up and learn how to use the Kindles.
For more information, contact Kathy Glass, activities coordinator, (307) 587-6221.