LOMA LINDA (KABC) -- It was an exciting day for people working with Telehealth Access for Seniors. They walked into VA Loma Linda Medical Center with boxes full of smartphones and tablets, devices that will go to senior patients.
"This feels amazing to know you are helping someone during this pandemic and that you can still interact with people in ways that you felt like you wouldn't be able to ever again," said Jennifer Yoon.
Telehealth Access for Seniors is an organization on a mission to provide devices for senior citizens, so they can access immediate health care through FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. As the coronavirus crisis continues, hospitals have reduced in-person visits in an effort to slow the spread of transmission. The devices are crucial to people who need regular medical attention, but may live too far or are too high risk to go to the hospital.
"The way we do business is just not going to be the same. And using devices to render virtual health care hasn't only been the way of the future, it's the way of now," said Karandeep Sraon, Medical Director, VA Loma Linda Health Care Center.
Sraon says the devices are also connecting patients to their loved ones that in many cases are not allowed to visit right now.
"For veterans to be able to see their loved ones on an iPad, or Fire Stick, or any electronic device that would help facilitate that face to face encounter, that really helps improve their healing," said Sraon.
Each device comes with a step-by-step hand guide for patients who may be unfamiliar with the technology. Tech support teams are also available. And users can ask to speak with a representative in their first language.
Telehealth Access for Seniors was created in May by a few Yale students wanting to make a difference in their community. The organization is now operating in 26 states and has donated over 1,000 devices. To help, go to telehealthforseniors.org. They are asking for devices or monetary donations.