Embrace Living Receives DuPage Foundation Grant

Jennifer Truppa, director of social services and quality assurance, accepts grant check from the DuPage Foundation.

In December 2023, Embrace Living, based in Oak Brook, Ill., was awarded a $10,000 grant from the DuPage Foundation’s Community Needs Grant Program. The grant will be used for technology education for Embrace Living residents. Also supporting the project are the Beth and Daniel Maguire Family Fund, Pane E Pesci Fund and an anonymous donor advised fund of the DuPage Foundation.

The DuPage Foundation was established in 1986 to provide support to local nonprofits concerned with raising the quality of life in the area. With four communities in DuPage County, Embrace Living’s plans include expanding technological literacy and the ability to connect virtually with others for the 350 residents living in those communities.

Many older adults are experiencing stress and are at risk for isolation and loneliness. A recent study conducted by the AARP Foundation in collaboration with United Health Foundation found that of older adults who have experienced social isolation since the pandemic began, half reported feeling less motivated, four in 10 (41 percent) reported feeling more anxious than usual and more than a third (37 percent) felt depressed. Using evidence-based assessments, 27 percent of our residents in DuPage County are at-risk of social isolation and loneliness. Technology allows for increased connection between residents and their friends and families, which can help alleviate these feelings.

Also, access to in-person medical care has in many cases been replaced with tele-health appointments, a difficult switch for older adults with limited connectivity and technology skills. 

The grant will be used for:

  • iPads — Embrace Living recently renovated two of its communities in DuPage County to include computer training labs, which contain two or three desktop computers, internet capabilities, printers and printing supplies. It will use the monies to purchase tablets for all four DuPage County communities that residents can use, along with providing culturally and linguistically-appropriate monthly training services for residents.
  • Intergenerational training — Embrace Living will match younger adult volunteers with residents to train them on how to use the technology, along with residents’ personal technology devices, to promote greater self-confidence during use. Also, apart from that primary benefit, intergenerational programs have been shown to be valuable for both younger and older generations as both are able to share knowledge and foster a sense of meaningfulness, while helping to decrease feelings of social isolation through new learning experiences among others. This grant will help us grow this volunteer program.
  • Build connections in and out of our communities — With the tools and training residents need to be competent, they will be able to stay connected with family and friends outside their community, find valuable health resources online to help with chronic conditions, attend tele-health appointments with ease, and access a constant stream of entertainment via devices like smart TVs and tablets. 
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