Retain helps Age UK Wiltshire fight social isolation in the digital age

By Anita Jaynes on 23 December, 2020

Retain Healthcare has presented Age UK Wiltshire with a cheque for £5,000, which will help combat social isolation with the use of digital technology.

The money will support Age UK Wiltshire’s larger Digital Inclusion project ‘Click & Connect’ that identifies older people in the county who would benefit from the use of technology, and who are keen to embrace this technology to improve their lives. Through the programme Age UK Wiltshire will identify suitable equipment, internet access and technical ability and also signpost to any grants or state benefits that a customer could apply for and to support them with an application.

As well as reducing social isolation, Age UK Wiltshire also aims to give the older person the skills they need to use and run the technology, so that they can gain independence, which is known to be beneficial to overall health.

The technology and service will be tailored to the specific needs of the older person and could include aspects such as getting on the internet, video calls to family and friends, using social media or even taking and sending photographs on their mobile phones or tablets.

David Trowbridge, Managing Director of Retain, said, “Social isolation is known to have a large impact in a person’s overall health and wellbeing, and so by helping to combat this we hope to see a knock-on effect on the rest their lives too.  

“By working with Age UK Wiltshire on this project, we are able to refer the people we think would be open to improving the technology they have in their homes.  Additionally, we hope that once using the technology becomes second nature for the older people we care for, that they can also pass on these skills to their friends and family, so spreading the positive impact of the project.”

Simon Billingham, Acting CEO of Age UK Wiltshire, added, “The pandemic has, and continues to have an extremely negative impact on people’s sense of isolation and loneliness. This is made more acute for those who are not able to utilise technology to connect online. The generous donation from Retain, who share our ambition to promote independence, will help people to overcome these barriers and get connected. The ‘Click & Connect’ project is a collaboration between Age UK Wiltshire, Retain Healthcare, AbilityNet and Wiltshire Sight. A great example of joint working between a care provider and the third sector.”

With offices in Chippenham, Salisbury, Cheltenham, Bristol and Bournemouth, Retain Healthcare is a leading provider of homecare and support that focuses on achieving outcomes for customers and helping them to live the way they want.  Each week, the company delivers over thousands of hours of care and support to people in their own homes, as well as providing support to residential, supported living and nursing homes, across Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Dorset and Somerset.  For further information on Retain Healthcare, visit www.retainhealthcare.co.uk.

To read more about Age UK Wiltshire, visit www.ageukwiltshire.org.uk.

Pictured above: David Trowbridge, Managing Director of Retain Healthcare, and Simon Billingham, Acting CEO, Age UK Wiltshire.