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uCarenet Technologies offers care-based translation app to support vulnerable older adults in latest Ontario lockdown

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In response to the Ontario government's recent lockdown, uCarenet has accelerated its mission to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable seniors through their technology. For the next 30 days, uCarenet is offering health care professionals a free download of its uCareLINGO app. 

uCareLINGO, a care-based voice translation app, is a step toward fulfilling the company vision of providing elderly patients (and their caregivers) with tools and resources to live comfortably and independently. For non-English speaking seniors, living at home or in long term care, daily communications with health care providers can be frustrating, evoking feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Without a translator or family member to assist them, seniors are challenged with clearly communicating their needs or symptoms. uCareLINGO breaks down language barriers between caregivers and patients in 17 languages with the most common care-based words and phrases, plus real-time translation for spontaneous conversation. 

The recent Ontario lockdown will result in more seniors being further isolated from family, caregivers, or community members. Putting uCareLINGO into the hands of everyone, from healthcare workers to next door neighbours, will ensure that those who do not speak English will feel more connected to their immediate community. 

According to Dr. Martin Chasen, medical director of palliative care at William Osler Health Centre, "When aging seniors feel understood by their caregivers, because they are able to communicate in their native language, it is a win-win for all parties. Patients who can express their needs and wishes more easily are happier and more content patients, which of course fosters and promotes lower stress levels for frontline caregivers." 

Research shows that mobile technologies are playing a crucial role during the COVID-19 crisis. A new AGE-WELL poll conducted by Environics Research in July 2020 shows that two-thirds (65%) of Canadians aged 65 and older own a smartphone, and most who own one (83%) use it daily. "At a time when older adults face enormous challenges, it is encouraging to see that many are reaching for technologies and apps to help," says Dr. Alex Mihailidis, AGE-WELL Scientific Co-Director and CEO. "Our aging community is particularly vulnerable with regard to mental health issues like loneliness and depression. New technologies like uCareLINGO may help ease that fallout."

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