$150k grant to support Senior Center Without Walls

·2 min read

Aug. 11—ALBANY, Ga. — Sowega Council on Aging (SCOA) was awarded a $150,000 grant Thursday from UnitedHealthcare to deploy social isolation solutions through the Senior Center Without Walls program. This grant is part of a combined $1 million "Empowering Health" grant awarded to six community-based organizations in Georgia to expand access to care and address the social determinants of health for uninsured individuals and underserved communities.

"We know that social isolation is one of the top concerns when it comes to the health of our aging community," says Sowega Council on Aging Executive Director Izzie Sadler. "Funds from this grant will allow us to purchase 50 more tablets and data packages for qualified seniors in our 14-county service area. That means that seniors can be connected to loved ones, friends and healthcare providers at any time, from any location through a Claris Companion tablet."

The Claris Companion tablet provides a unique combination of intuitive senior-friendly software on an easy and fun device, the council said in a press release. Each tablet is programmed to the needs of the senior user, with everything they need available on the home screen with just one touch of a button. In addition, seniors enjoy many tablet features, including video calling, messaging, virtual events, web browsing, wellness checks, medication reminders, photos, and videos.

"Social and economic factors have a profound impact on achieving and maintaining good health," said Michael Minor, CEO for UnitedHealthcare's Medicaid operations in Georgia. "Through our Empowering Health grants and local outreach efforts from UnitedHealthcare, we're working with local organizations in the state to provide Georgia residents with an interconnected system of clinical and social services that can produce better health outcomes and make the health system work better for everyone."

Tablets are for qualifying seniors who are isolated and experience loneliness, the council said. Those interested in the Claris Companion Tablet must be a participant in programming for the effectiveness of engagement to be determined. To be assessed for eligibility to receive a tablet, call the council's Aging and Disability Resource Center at 800-282-6612.