A partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Facebook and the American Red Cross will make more than 7,400 Portal from Facebook devices available to veterans and their caregivers, according to a new release.
The devices are being made available to those enrolled in VA's Caregiver Support program and VA's Geriatric and Extended Care Services program. Organizers hope the devices help reduce isolation while improving social connectedness for veterans and their caregivers who might currently be experiencing new levels of isolation.
The Facebook Portal devices allow video calls through Facebook messenger or WhatsApp, music, video and game streaming, web searches and have Amazon Alexa built in.
The devices are available to those who qualify on a first come, first serve basis. There is a limited supply of 7,400 devices available under this program, so if you believe you or a family member are eligible and can benefit from having one, you should apply as soon as possible.
Once the VA has verified your eligibility you can expect to receive the Portal in four to six weeks, officials said in the release.
The Portal devices come in a set of two -- one for the eligible veteran and the other for the veteran's designated caregiver or family member.
The partnership is a result of the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) program.
"Veterans, families and caregivers will benefit through an increased support system," VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in the release. "Our goal is for veterans to feel less isolated through more communication. We believe this technology will help veterans who might otherwise be unreachable."
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