How Vodafone and Alcove are connecting vulnerable people during COVID-19

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Vodafone UK and Alcove, a care technology supplier, have connected over 3,000 elderly and vulnerable people to friends, family and support services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vodafone provides connectivity for Alcove’s Video Carephone – a specially adapted tablet that offers easy-to-use video and voice calls to friends, family and carers.

In the UK, many vulnerable people are experiencing increased isolation during the pandemic. The Video Carephone, powered by Vodafone’s connectivity, has offered a digital alternative to face-to-face contact; and helped combat loneliness and deliver vital virtual care without the need for fixed-line internet or in-depth technical knowledge. The device also provides reminders for health and wellbeing tasks, such as taking medicines at the right time, via its concierge service.

The Alcove Video Carephone is being used by vulnerable people, care agencies, Covid-19 recovery facilities and hospitals following distribution by local councils in Essex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Northern Ireland, South Tyneside and Suffolk.

Theresa, Support Worker for George, 90, at Millicent Day Centre in Essex, said: “The Video Carephone gives us the face-to-face time we need with George. It helps prevent him from feeling isolated. I would love to see more of our customers using this device.”

Liz, Team Leader at Home First in Suffolk, who oversees carers for Mrs O, said: “The device has been amazing. We call Mrs O twice a day to help prevent her hallucinations, while maintaining her regular face-to-face visits when we can. The ability to talk to her carer about everyday things is really helping normalise her day. Her daughter tells me she is enjoying the interaction and has been giggling and laughing on the calls, something she hasn’t seen for a while.”

Hellen Bowey, Chief Executive of Alcove, said: “We are thrilled that our Video Carephone has had such a huge impact, particularly during this terrible pandemic. We hear every day how it is helping people keep connected with loved ones, access medical services and mental health support and stay fit and healthy.

“Working with Vodafone has been fantastic. We have a wonderful account manager who really cares that we are connecting elderly and vulnerable people. And Vodafone’s network coverage is excellent – essential for this solution. We look forward to continuing our relationship as we supply the Video Carephone to other areas of the UK.”

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel & External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “There is a huge opportunity for technology to transform social care and we are thrilled that our connectivity is helping vulnerable people keep connected and healthy during this health crisis.

“We will continue to work with our amazing charity partners – and inspiring businesses such as Alcove – to ensure our connectivity has a positive impact on society.”