Seniors are more vulnerable than ever due to pandemic-related social isolation and televëda, an online platform with a mission to combat social isolation for older adults is uniting seniors across the world.
Through televëda, seniors get to experience life to the fullest during the coronavirus pandemic. From book clubs to bingo, from cheesecake to cubism, televëda allows senior citizens across the world to safely and virtually interact with others.
Heineberg Community Senior Center in Burlington, Vermont and Castleton Community Seniors in Castleton, Vermont together service hundreds of older adults. The centers provide a community and a a family for many older adults. But COVID-19 related restrictions have made it exceptionally difficult for these organizations to support the social needs of these seniors.
So, Heineberg and Castleton partnered with televëda to come up with a creative way to address social isolation – a virtual community center where seniors join live online classes from the comfort of their homes, learn new skills and also meet their friends.
Every month, over 70 seniors from Vermont join in with seniors from Arizona, Utah, Maryland, and Ohio to participate in yoga, art, bingo, trivia, book clubs and so many more programs. East Coast seniors meet West Coast seniors and have the opportunity to connect, share experiences, and form friendships.
I play Bingo twice a week and also go to any Trivia or other game events. I have a lot of fun playing the games and we do a lot of talking in between games. I looked at all the different offers on televëda, and am impressed by the variety of classes.
– Castleton Senior Community member
The charge does not stop there. Seniors from Vermont, Arizona, and Utah all connect with each other weekly through a virtual book club. The club is hosted by seniors for seniors where they discuss literary works and connect through shared experiences.
They have already read and discussed:
- The Vanishing Half
- A Man Called Ove
- The Round House
- Good Dogs Don’t Make it to the South Pole
- Sweet Vengeance
- An Only Child & Her Sister
- The Midnight Library
- The Four Winds
Furthermore, televëda does not just cater to older adults in the United States, the start-up has recently finished a pilot program in Surrey, United Kingdom. Televëda has partnered with Hill House, a dementia care facility, to bring their revolutionary platform to the UK.
Residents of Hill House are currently under lockdown and with the help of televëda are able to virtually meet and have and they have been able to enjoy Sudoku, trivia, Wheel of Fortune, Scattergories, and of course a fan favorite, bingo!
Our mission at televëda is to combat social isolation by bringing the community experience to people, and our mission has never been more important than in the wake of COVID-19.
But, even before the pandemic, it’s been a challenge for a lot of seniors to get to senior centers. Lack of transportation, inability to drive, disabilities, icy conditions, or heat waves, are all barriers that make it more difficult to meet people and spend time with others. I am honored that we are able to partner with these amazing senior centers in Vermont and connect older adults across state lines.
– Shruti Gurudanti, CEO and Co-Founder of televëda
|17-year-old Varadha Taggarse, a high school senior from Tucson, Arizona, hosts a weekly sing-along class for seniors to share in a love for music. Her attendees come from all over the United States and come together through a mutual love of music.|
One member that I love working with is an Alzheimer’s patient. She has been dealing with Alzheimer’s, and for her it was a special moment when she was able to remember and sing-along with songs from her childhood and teenage years and share that with people her age.
She always tells me stories about how certain songs would bring up memories for her. It was amazing to hear this from her and makes me feel good knowing we are bringing joy through this virtual offering.
– Varahda Taggarse
Any adult 65 and up from across the country can foster friendships, and gather a sense of community through virtual Bingo, tai chi, chair yoga, tap dancing lessons, nutrition education, art and watercolor workshops, sculpting, and book clubs.
Those interested in signing up a loved one can visit www.televeda.com. televëda is also providing free community resources during COVID-19.