“It has been a lifeline” – Carers Leeds share how our Tablet Lending Scheme is supporting carers in isolation.

Beryl was first introduced to technology when she attended our Carers Leeds Introduction to IT course. She had never used a tablet before she joined the course. By the end of the course Beryl was confidently using her tablet to research online, send emails and send messages to others in the group.

Beryl asked to be signed up to the 100% Digital Leeds tablet lending scheme so that she could continue to develop her skills. Beryl has enjoyed using her iPad to relax. She has used the library catalogue to check out her eBooks with ease and enjoyed listening to her favourite music on Spotify.

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Beryl was able to use her IT skills to take this picture on her iPad and email it as an attachment!  

The iPad has helped with practicalities such as researching bus times to plan journeys. This has helped Beryl be more efficient with her time, as time is always precious to carers. Before the lockdown Beryl was able to use the tablet to book herself and her husband a holiday. Since the lockdown she was also able to cancel the holiday and claim a refund online. Beryl explained that she wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the tablet lending scheme. She is grateful for the tablet and said

“It has been a lifeline”                                                                

Beryl updated us during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We don’t know what we would have done without the tablet” she said explaining how she recently had surgery on her knee and has struggled with mobility. She was unable to get in contact with her physiotherapist but used the tablet to find their number online so that she could receive treatment on her knee.

Beryl has been able to check the shop opening times for the over 70s so that her husband knows when he can get food shopping for her. Beryl has also used her tablet to find local groups who help to get shopping and medication in case they are unable to shop for themselves.

Finally Carers Leeds have been able to provide ongoing support over the phone to help Beryl connect with others she has been taught how to send emails and attach pictures to an e-mail to share with friends and neighbours.

“We are going to get broadband when this is all over” was a comment she made today after learning how to send emails. Beryl said that she now sees how essential technology is and that she wants to get broadband and purchase her own device to enable her to use the technology for the long term!

 

Blog post by Aidan Finney, Carers Leeds