Assistance programs for older adults to gain access to computers and the internet

The ageing process and the low income in many instances, hinder the proper making use for digital resources.

Beverly Black had a busy life prior to the outbreak. She was an child care provider for on a daily basis until the New York City’s March lockdown made her remain at home. Learn how to get free government tablets

Black 68-year-old Black hadn’t taken his old computer out when it died a few many years ago. After people were kept at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials from the city and others rushed to make internet available for older adults with no internet access. In the next few weeks, Black had a new LG Android tablet, one of 10,000 tablets offered to older people aged 60 and over living in the city, as well as two years of internet access and instruction. The entire service was free to all who had signed up.

“The only requirement was to be an older adult living in public housing,” says Tom Kamber, founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). “We chose people according to the order of the requests and one of the conditions was that they no longer have internet.” In the present, OATS has joined forces with AARP as an associated charity, like the AARP Foundation and which includes the Legal Advice for the Elderly as well as Wish of a Lifetime .

Black is making the most use of the tablet and has been on “virtual tours of other countries, of various museums in London and the Louvre Museum in Paris”.

“I have visited virtual museums in New York,” he adds. “I took a virtual tour of the school my granddaughter wants to attend.”

It is important to have a gadget which includes video

Because of the pandemic that has been sweeping the globe, the need for technology has been identified for people over the age of 65, who are more at chance of suffering from severe illness due to COVID-19. To prevent getting sick it is recommended that they avoid contact with family members and those who don’t reside with them. A lot of people don’t have internet access or a PC — or their devices are outdated to have the ability to create video connections, so they’re left isolated.

It’s also essential to help older adults to get online to register for the coronavirus vaccine earlier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the states prioritize people aged 75 and above, after the vaccination of residents in nursing homes is completed. COVID-19 is among the deadliest diseases for adults over 65, with a majority of deaths to date occurring for people who are 50 or older.

Local governments, non-profit organisations, and media companies across the nation are working on bridging the gaps in technology. The elderly in many communities have been provided with new laptops and tablets with internet connectivity as well as free training offered through partnerships designed to reduce the negative consequences of loneliness .

“This is a model that will grow throughout the country in 2021, since everyone wants older adults to have access to the internet,” Kamber says. Kamber.

One of the leading organizations is the non-profit Community Tech Network, which has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, Texas. In just a few months following a string of shut downs across the United States, the group created Home Connect and offered hundreds of internet-connected devices for free and services in addition to virtual training. Many internet service providers across the US also provide free alternatives to those who need it however prices vary depending on the provider and where it is located.

“People need a connection with others, and this is the only sure way to achieve it,” says Kami Griffiths co-founder and CEO of Community Tech Network. “This tablet and the internet are their way of communicating with the rest of the world so they don’t have to feel so alone.”

The groups that aid their communities

Griffiths states that by sharing the lessons they’ve learned regarding device acquisition as well as instructor training and the configuration of tablets to meet user requirements, nonprofits could duplicate and grow the trend. Seniors who require assistance can contact organizations such as senior centers, libraries, or agencies for aging, that can provide them with accessible resources.

In spite of the fact that the majority of users in United States consider internet access essential due to the epidemic in the United States, the most recent information obtained from Pew Research Center indicates that less than three percent of seniors use Internet service. broadband internet in the home.

“I felt like a primitive in this day and age. The world is constantly changing and I’m trying to catch up and keep on top.”

— Matthew Robinson, 72, Austin, Texas

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