THIRTY of Dorset's most clinically vulnerable residents are being issued digital devices to help them stay connected during lockdown.

Dorset Council has teamed up with social day care providers to issue a range of digital devices to thirty residents to enable them to take part in virtual one-to-one sessions with carers and to attend online day centre activities.

If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to more residents as part of their social care package.

Councillor Peter Wharf, Dorset Council's deputy leader, said: "Being able to connect digitally during lockdown has proven to be a life saver for so many people and especially those that have had to shield.

"We are very proud to be taking an innovative approach and embracing digital as a way of connecting some of our most vulnerable residents."

The five devices issued to residents have a range of uses and can be tailored to people who have specific needs and digital knowledge.

There is a Kraydel Konnect, which allows for face-to-face video calling with authorised callers only via the resident’s television and a Komp Pro, where family and carers can make video calls, text messages, or send pictures via an app.

For those residents with good digital knowledge and skills, Samsung tablets are being issued for an all-round use of online services; and a laptop that can include software to allow the user to do things such as art activities and zoom group calls.

An Ethel device, which can provide scheduled check-ins and medication prompts as well as connecting with other people, is also being issued.

Joan, 87 and from north Dorset, received an Ethel and is already connected up to her family via the device which also reminds her to take her medication and undertake her daily exercises.

She said: "I've had lots of photos sent to me from my grandchildren and video calls with them too.

"What I'm really looking forward to is having a video call with the day centre as I miss them very much and it will be lovely to see them again."

Councillor Laura Miller, Dorset Council's portfolio holder for adult social care and health, added: "Digital can be a way of transforming our residents lives for the better; not just in lockdown but for also going forward beyond the pandemic."