Read the CTA Foundation’s gift announcement here.
“In times of crisis such as the one we are experiencing now, connectivity and technology can serve as a literal lifeline – providing a link to government information, access to benefits and financial management tools, and connection to basic services like telemedicine – but many older adults in rural communities have been living without the benefits of technology advances for decades,” says Tom Kamber, OATS executive director. “We are enormously grateful for this gift from the CTA Foundation, which will enable us to empower rural communities to deliver Senior Planet’s life-changing technology programs with ongoing support, training, and resoures.”
America’s 1,889 rural and mostly rural counties are home to nearly 14 million older adults, many of whom struggle with challenges of social isolation, mobility impairment, and poverty. Unfortunately, few training programs exist to help rural elders learn about connectivity options, devices, and applications that can enable communication, financial management, access to services, and other opportunities to improve quality of life. Community institutions such as senior centers, libraries, and voluntary organizations often have inadequate support and information to offer classes or secure technology learning environments.
Senior Planet’s rural expansion will enable residents of low-density communities across America to take advantage of the extensive resources available from OATS and Senior Planet through sponsored partnerships in their home counties. By empowering local institutions and personnel, the program will bring together up-to-date content on technology and aging with expert local knowledge and information. And by facilitating safe and informed technology adoption and use, the program can help link millions of isolated and potentially vulnerable older adults to life-enhancing information, services, and social connections.
Read more about Senior Planet’s existing rural initiatives here.