Case Study: Interfaith Uses Claris Companion to Double Seniors’ Social Connectedness
Seniors who live alone are vulnerable to social isolation and lack of support.
In a 2021 assessment, Tucson-based Interfaith Community Services (ICS) determined that more than a third of the seniors in its caregiving program were socially isolated. On a scale that measured their social connectedness on a scale of 1 to 5, these seniors had an average rating of just 1.75, meaning they had little to no social support.
So ICS decided to see if it could use tablet technology to boost the connections and improve the wellbeing of these most isolated seniors.
ICS selected Claris Companion for the technology, an easy-to-use tablet, and software solution specifically designed for older seniors.
Key features of Claris Companion include:
- Built-in 4G/LTE cellular internet service for seniors without access to WiFi
- Seamlessly integrated messaging, video calling, photo sharing, internet browsing, games, alerts, and more
- One-click customization for staff to remotely personalize each tablet.
- Claris Insight™, a reporting and data visualization component of the Claris Companion platform that helps staff track how clients are interacting with their tablets at home.
“Our participants have responded to the program enthusiastically and tell us they love using their Claris Companion tablets to attend coffee hour and read messages.”
Initially, eight seniors were enrolled in the Caregiving Connection program. Trained volunteers were assigned to deliver the tablets and teach participants how to use them. The program started with a virtual “coffee hour” where seniors could use their tablets to meet other participants, volunteers, and staff. These meetings were later increased to six times per week. During the gatherings, participants discuss current events, favorite memories, share recipes, have sing-a-longs, and do “show-and-tell.”
Seniors participating in the program saw their social connectedness rating almost double, to an average of 3.5 out of 5.
Participants responded to the program enthusiastically and told staff they loved using their Claris Companion tablets to attend coffee hours and read messages.
Tracking data shows that seniors in the program have engaged in more than 5,000 total interactions, participated in almost 3,500 activities, and played more than 1,750 games on their tablets over seven months.
“Our isolated seniors have enjoyed the program and are truly thankful to have the tablets at their disposal,” said Luke Pearson, senior services coordinator for ICS. “Claris Companion has been essential in our efforts to connect with our seniors in need.”
With the tablet program’s demonstrated success, ICS is expanding its Caregiving Connection program through 2022.
Interfaith Community Services (ICS) has been helping people help themselves since 1979. ICS was formed on the idea that people of diverse faith traditions could unite with one common purpose – to help people in need. This network has grown to over 120 diverse faith communicates throughout Pima County, Arizona. With over 230 dedicated staff, more than 2,000 volunteers, and thousands of community donors, Interfaith offers support to more than 52,000 individuals each year.
Learn more at www.icstucson.org