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Local teens aim to provide healthcare access to seniors and veterans

Rajit and Riya with collected devices
Rajit and Riya with collected devices
(Courtesy)

Although school may be coming to a close, that’s not stopping Rajit, a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley and CCA alumni, and Riya Agarwal, a senior at Torrey Pines High School and rising freshman at UCSD, from working hard to provide healthcare access to seniors in San Diego.

Their mission: helping seniors get iPhones, iPads, and other electronic devices for appointments with their doctors.

Rajit and Riya are working with the registered non-profit “TeleHealth Access for Seniors.” With over 80 high school and college volunteers in 20 states, the group has already collected more than 500 devices. Along with the cleaned device, seniors receive chargers, as well as a set-up guide on how to use their devices.

Serving as the California state lead, Rajit is working along with his sister, as well as six other California volunteers.

“We’ve seen studies that show that almost 50% of seniors 50 years or older have three or more chronic conditions, but many of them are low income,” Rajit says.

With senior citizens being among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, they are hesitant to step outside. With the help of telemedicine, they can get the healthcare access they need from the comfort of their home.

“It’s pretty cool to see how much all the volunteers are helping. We even have staff providing virtual tech support,” Rajit says.

So far, Rajit and Riya have been donating to local San Diego community clinics. They hope to collect almost 100 devices in San Diego by the end of summer.

“It’s a high goal,” says Riya, “but we’ve seen people enthusiastic about donating, so we’re hoping we’ll achieve it.”

The group is also accepting monetary donations through their GoFundMe. To donate a device or to see how you can volunteer, visit telehealthforseniors.org or email rajitagarwal@gmail.com.


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