COVID-19 pandemic not only took a toll on older adults’ physical health but also made them susceptible to mental health difficulties, including feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety. A recent study showed that factors such as loneliness, stress, and lack of sleep can weaken the immune system which leads to increased susceptibility to COVID-19. Therefore, addressing the emotional and mental difficulties that our seniors are experiencing has never been more crucial than now.
H2O Network immediate response to Covid 19 was to launch a free platform, VIRTUAL PRESENCE PROGRAM (VPP). VPP offers virtual support services through one-on-one phone calls and video chats, as well as, virtual group meetings and events with various informative and fun topics bringing together older and younger adults for intergenerational companionship and support. Various activities and connection platforms that VPP offers enable older adults to stay active, engaged, and involved with younger adults for a constructive and empowering intergenerational exchange of wisdom, experience, digital literacy, and culture.