Aging Connected

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.

This year, OATS is launching Aging Connected, a national campaign to help close the technology adoption gap for older adults. Learn more here.

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?

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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.

Join the Aging Connected Campaign!

Sign up below to get the latest news on Aging Connected or the Mayor's Pledge, or let us know how you'd like to work with us!

Or email us at [email protected]

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.
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"COVID-19 has greatly affected in-person means of social connection, information sharing and social service for everyone, but especially for older adults."

San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg Tweet
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. 

Leadership

Appoint a “Connectivity Champion” for older adults to create and support opportunities to bring seniors online, and provide them support from the mayor’s office to ensure progress.

Communication

Use communications channels available to city government to raise awareness among older adults of the importance of digital engagement and the availability of public and private resources to help them.

Support

Examine funding patterns for aging services and pursue local, state, and federal public resources to support full digital inclusivity, including connectivity and training, for older adults.

Equity

Ensure that seniors are included in the range of municipal programs to promote digital engagement.

Accountability

Gather data to assess progress on digital participation by older adults in our community, and share with Aging Connected to support national tracking efforts.