Connect The Love supports the elderly in care homes, hospitals and others vulnerable individuals in other settings who have been isolated from their friends and family as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, by reconnecting them digitally to their loved ones during the lockdown through the provision of digital devices.
How you can help!
- You can donate to Connect the Love via our online giving page
- You can donate old tablets – find out how here
How to receive help!
If you’re in need of devices for care homes, hospitals or other organisations sign up here
COVID-19 highlighted the importance of being digitally connected – not just during a pandemic – but for anyone who is isolated or in a vulnerable situation in the UK. Tragically, many care home residents, hospital patients and victims of abuse are facing unparalleled loneliness without the means of digital connection that many of us take for granted.
Social isolation can have serious implications, especially among elderly because of a heightened risk of cardiovascular, auto-immune, neuro-cognitive, and mental health problems. Mental health is an increasingly important issue and, according to a study conducted by Age Concern and the Mental Health Foundation, depression is the most common mental health problem in later life with social isolation being a strong risk factor. Social disconnection can put the elderly at greater risk of mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety. This demonstrates how social distancing can further exacerbate symptoms of depression, and vice versa.
Tragically, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many elderly care home residents and hospital patients are in isolation away from family and loved ones and are facing unparalleled loneliness, depression, and isolation with no contact with their loved ones, nor the methods of digital connection many of us take for granted. The importance of maintaining social connections for mental health in older people is of ever increasing importance. Many care homes, however, do not have access to the IT infrastructure that would enable the elderly to reconnect with their families and their loved ones.
Connect the Love was launched by Lucy Russo, who devised Connect the Love as a way to give vulnerable and digitally unconnected individuals a way to see and speak to their loved ones and gain access to support. Lucy has a busy day job in the venture capital sector but set up the initiative in her spare time, so moved was she by the inability for those in care homes to see their families and friends.