Free iPads delivered to West Island seniors in isolation

22 West Island seniors' homes will receive iPads from a local fundraising initiatve. Nov 25, 2020. West Island Community Shares

Residents of 22 Montreal-area seniors’ homes will soon be getting new iPads thanks to a local fundraising initiative.

Matt del Vecchio and Stefanie Cadou of Lianas Senior Transition Support teamed up with West Island Community Shares to raise over $14,000 in less than a month.

The money will all be spent on iPads and special stands to make them easier to use for the elderly.

With seniors in long-term care homes heavily impacted by the increased isolation the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the iPads will be a vital link to their families.

READ MORE: West Island non-profit raising funds for iPads to keep seniors connected

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“I have a great grandson who is who is walking, and I haven’t seen them in a long time,” said Orysia Wywiorka, a resident of CHSLD Bayview in Pointe-Claire. “This would be a real adventure for me, as well as talking to them face to face and them seeing me rather than just on the telephone.”

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Del Vecchio and Cadou said they came up with the idea to donate iPads to seniors’ homes over dinner, and launched a GoFundMe campaign.

“We have a total of 39 individual donors, and we were blessed with a wonderful donation from the Eric T. Webster Foundation of $10,000 just from them,” Del Vecchio said. “When you see the daughter on the other end of the screen and that smile or twinkle in their eye, that makes it all worthwhile.”

“You see a lot of smiles,” Cadou added.

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West Island Community Shares executive director Sophie McCann said her organization was happy to be a part of the initiative.

“We strongly believe that this campaign has all the key elements to have a real impact in the lives of our seniors on the West Island,” McCann said.

The hope is for the iPad program to remain in place even after the coronavirus pandemic is over to give the seniors a better connection to the outside world.

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