Social Isolation has been an issue for many older adults that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Office for the Aging we have several programs available to combat social isolation and loneliness. For more information on these or any of our services please call us at 607-274-5482.
Senior Planet Tablet Program
The Senior Planet Tablet Pilot Project was developed in the fall of 2020 to bring technology to older adults to ease the effects of loneliness brought on by social isolation that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our office provides project participants with an LG Tablet and 12-24 months of LTE (Long Term Evolution is a standard for wireless broadband). Additionally we contracted and partnered with Senior Planet, a program of the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), who provides free technology support and social opportunities to Tompkins County residents through our Senior Center Lifelong, to provide a Senior Planet Tech Help Hotline. This hotline is open Monday - Friday, 9:00 A. M. to 5:00 P. M. for its members. Furthermore, participants have full and complete access to Senior Planet's online assortment of virtual program classes and offerings, covering topics in technology, health, social engagement, financial security, and much more.
Project CARE Friendly Visiting
Project CARE is a friendly visiting program that provides in-home support to family caregivers as well as direct help to frail, homebound older adults. Project CARE volunteers provide weekly visits and supports older adults and caregivers in a variety of ways according to their needs.
Project Generations is a sister program of Project CARE and is coordinated through Ithaca College and Cornell University. Project Generations engages students with older adults for friendly visits promoting intergenerational experiences.
Pause for Parkinson's
The stress of the caregiving role is long recognized and to maintain one's own health to continue in this role, respite is one of the many services recommended for the caregiver. This program expands the already existing student volunteer program, Project Generations, which serves local older adults in Tompkins County and adds paid respite services to the program. The students are trained by project staff to understand the issues that people who experience Parkinson's disease have and how to provide caregivers services for this group of clients. All students receive the evidence-based respite training REST (Respite Education and Support Tools). Once trained, the students provide their availability to the Project Coordinator who will have this information available for caregivers who request respite services.
ElliQ is a digital care companion that helps older adults remain active, engaged, and independent. Designed for individuals that spend most of their day alone, ElliQ empowers older adults to take control of their physical, mental, and social health. ElliQ proactively offers health and wellness support, entertainment, communication features, and a concierge service to help with daily activities.
Joy for All Companion Pets
We have several cats and dogs that are available for "adoption". These interactive animatronic pets offer support, comfort, and companionship to older adults.
VSC (Virtual Senior Center)
The Virtual Senior Center (VSC) gives older adults a place to go, learn, explore, and socialize without having to go anywhere. An active online community with live courses 12 hours a day, 365 days a year, the VSC is a constant and welcoming companion to help make meaningful connections. Our office will be partnering with our local Senior Center, Lifelong, to provide this service.