Getting older adults online has never been more urgent than it is today. The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our nation’s systems for social support, communications, and health care, while sharply increasing the critical importance of home internet participation as a lifeline for older adults. Age continues to be one of the strongest predictors of digital non-participation: fewer than 60% of American seniors have wireline broadband access at home, which in the current public health crisis can have serious consequences. Not only are isolated seniors less likely to have access to essential public health information and social services, but social isolation has been clinically linked to increased morbidity and risk of early death.
With generous support from the Humana Foundation, we have a goal of reaching one million seniors by June 2022. By connecting and coordinating the efforts of technology companies, nonprofit senior services providers, and public sector agencies, we aim to increase broadband connectivity among older adults and help seniors maximize the benefit of technology use for health, social engagement, and other essential outcomes.
How does it all come together?
The Aging Connected initiative is designed on a foundation of partnership that cuts across sectors to form a Consortium of like-minded institutions working in tandem. Telecommunications companies are participating in public awareness efforts, offering new low-cost service options for older adults, and providing financial sponsorship. Nonprofit senior service providers and public sector agencies are essential channels to reaching older adults and raising awareness of these offerings. Health care organizations are emphasizing the benefits of telehealth and social connectedness through technology.
If you are interested in joining Aging Connected as a Consortium Member, supporting partner, or senior looking to receive updates on offerings, please contact us using the form below.
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Mayors for Aging Connected
The “Mayors for Aging Connected” pledge calls upon leaders of cities across the country to commit to promoting digital equity and supporting aging services for older adults. This bold pledge centralizes connectivity initiatives, ensuring the inclusion of older adults and measuring progress, which has informed the pledge design.
Mayors who have signed the pledge include:
- Mayor Steve Adler – Austin, TX
- Mayor Sam Licardo – San Jose, CA
- Mayor Ron Nirenberg – San Antonio, TX
What’s in the pledge?
By signing the pledge, mayors make a promise to take all available steps to support digital equity and ensure that older adults have access to affordable, in-home broadband internet. There are five categories of commitment to help focus these efforts: Leadership, Communication, Support, Equity, and Accountability.