NewsTreasure CoastRegion Indian River CountyVero Beach


New state program helps to keep seniors connected with loved ones and the world using tablets

Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 18:20:14-04

It has been more than a month since visitors have been allowed into nursing homes and assisted living facilities, in order to protect those more at risk for coronavirus.

A new state program is designed to keep seniors connected with their loved ones and the world around them.

Deanna Sutton has traveled all over the world.

But the pandemic has her quarantined to her home in the Isles of Vero Beach.

Deanna has family all over the country, and was excited to learn that the Isles just received new tablets that would let her connect with them face to face or allow for her own adventure online.

Kimberly Simmons with the Isles of Vero Beach says, “It’s got music for all occasions any activity. Travel, it enables them to travel to different places virtually."

The tablets are part of a new program called Project VITAL, in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.”

Lou Iannuccilli, Executive Director of The Isles of Vero Beach says, “It’s been a real beneficial program in helping residents provide that meaning and purpose. Folks feel connected.”

The Isles was one of the first senior facilities in the state to receive the tablets.

The Alzheimer’s Association wanted to go beyond its typical reach, and help all seniors that are isolated.

“Talking over phone sometimes you don’t get the ‘what’s going on’. Is mom not fixing her hair? She always liked to put her makeup on, maybe she’s not doing that now, they can see that,” Iannuccilli says.

The specially programmed tablets also have games and activities to stimulate the mind.