MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md., March 15, 2023 — As part of its mission to help older Americans harness the power of technology, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP is working with Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure, through its Connected by Good program to offer free Senior Planet technology programs to Montgomery County’s older adult community. Offered in-person and online, the 30 new courses will help older adults build technology skills essential for accessing telemedicine, engaging in online social platforms and participating in today’s economy.
According to research by AARP, since the pandemic, the number of US older adults using technology has increased significantly. Despite this growth, 37% of older adults ‘lack confidence’ in using technology, while 54% say they need help setting up or using a new electronic device.
Senior Planet is the flagship program of OATS. Since 2016, the Senior Planet program in Montgomery County has offered in-person classes to over 2,500 older adults that are part of the county’s diverse and vibrant senior community. New classes offer tech support for seniors, from accessing health resources, telemedicine and wearables, to utilizing Zoom for social interactions. The classes supported by Crown Castle will be offered through June 2023.
“This opportunity to work with Crown Castle will help us further equip Montgomery County’s older adults with the tools and knowledge to utilize modern technology,” said Tom Kamber, Executive Director of OATS from AARP. “As an organization committed to advancing access to education and technology, Crown Castle shares our goal to help connect communities with the vital information they need to thrive in today’s digital world.”
“At Crown Castle, we’re passionate about connecting communities through communications infrastructure and programs like Senior Planet that reduce barriers and empower older adults to benefit from technology,” said Ashley Greenspan, Public Affairs Manager of Crown Castle. “We look forward to working with an organization that has been a leader in the aging space for nearly 20 years.”
Crown Castle’s Connected by Good program seeks to advance access to technology and education, improve public spaces where people connect, and promote public safety. This latest collaboration with OATS builds on previous collaborations with the Digital Harbor Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore, ByteBack, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Prince George’s County Summer Youth Enrichment Program and other nonprofits across the country.
About OATS from AARP
OATS from AARP helps older adults learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and their communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with older adults to create extraordinary experiences in-person and online. As one of AARP’s charitable affiliates, the mission of OATS from AARP is “to harness the power of technology to change the way we age.” To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.