By Pioneer Staff
Smartphones and subsidized phone plans for vulnerable seniors were recently made available to those in need to help address the risks of feeling isolated.
On Dec. 8, TELUS launched the Mobility for Good for Seniors program to help those receiving the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) access a smartphone at no cost and a subsidized monthly plan to reduce the risk of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At a time when the human connection has never been more important, TELUS remains committed to ensuring all Canadians can stay connected to the people and information that matter the most,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO, in a recent press release. “Throughout the pandemic, our globally leading network has enabled Canadians to work and learn remotely, access critical government resources, receive medical support and stay in touch with family and friends. Our country’s seniors have contributed significantly to the fabric of this nation, having built and supported the infrastructure, economy and social services that we enjoy today. Disconcertingly, these same elderly Canadians have been disproportionately impacted throughout the health emergency as many have had to isolate from loved ones and support networks in order to stay safe. Through Mobility for Good for Seniors, we are providing some of our most vulnerable Canadians with access to the vital tools and resources they need to stay safely and meaningfully connected, and in time for the holiday season.”
There are approximately 2.2 million seniors on the GIS who are eligible for the TELUS Mobility for Good for Seniors program, which is being wholly subsidized by TELUS.
For $25 per month, participants in this program will receive nationwide talk and text functionality, 3 GB of data and a refurbished smartphone.
The purpose of this program is to ensure seniors have access to technology to help address feelings of isolation and connect them with their loved ones, while offering activities such as online games and books or healthcare resources and information.
Participants in the program are encouraged to download the federal government’s COVID-19 alert application to stay informed about provincial health information.
“This year in particular has demonstrated how critical it is that more older Canadians have access to virtual healthcare options that can help them to stay healthy and safe,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto. “TELUS’ Mobility for Good for Seniors will significantly increase access to virtual healthcare technology, such as video conferencing from a smartphone, for older and low-income Canadians who may have previously faced barriers to accessing and affording a smartphone. Beyond being able to better access health services, information and apps, a smartphone can be a critical tool in allowing older Canadians to more safely navigate their communities and help prevent the mental and physical health challenges associated with isolation and loneliness, particularly as more older Canadians are staying home and increasingly avoiding gatherings to protect their health.”
Additional details and instructions on how to apply are available at telus.com/mobilityforgood.