SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The kids have video games. Parents have Facebook, and, now, technology has a place for grandma and grandpa. More older adults are signing up for televëda, an online platform designed just for seniors.
“It’s a virtual recreation center for older adults where they get together, and they can join a class and also meet their friends and communicate with each other,” said Shruti Gurudanti, CEO and co-founder of televëda.
She launched the site in 2018 with her husband, Mayank Mishra.
“I saw my own grandparents suffer from not being able to leave their own home and be in a situation where my grandfather’s entirety was looking at a TV and yelling at the reporter, and that is heartbreaking,” said Gurudanti.
She said televëda gives seniors the chance to make relationships through online video classes. It looks a lot like ZOOM with an instructor and the ability to play games.
“We have everything from art to music to book clubs to Bingo,” said Gurudanti.
The online art classes and Bingo games happen to be favorites for 75-year-old Jeanette Werner. Five months ago, in the middle of the pandemic, Werner felt lonely.
“It’s very isolating,” said Werner. “You start ordering food, so even a trip to the grocery store was gone. No more church. You can do church online of course, but it’s not the same. There’s no connection.”
Her family told her about the website, and she now goes to several of the online classes, making friends along the way.
“It’s a purpose, reason to get up in the morning,” said Werner. “You feel like you’re contributing to other people’s lives.”
Since COVID-19 hit, televëda became more popular.
“We have about 1,500 older adults who are interacting with us,” said Mishra.
For Werner, that number just means more friendships and connections.
“This program is sunshine in rain,” said Werner. “That’s what it is. It’s a chance to be happy for an hour, no matter what your health is, no matter what the bad news is.”
Mishra said the site, including all the classes, is $25 a month.
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