NEW YORK, February 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Aging Connected, an initiative to bring more seniors online led by a non-profit organization AARP Seniors Technology Services (OATS), in conjunction with Comcast’s Internet Essentials, awarded 15 older adults new Google Chromebooks. The contest winners, who have limited digital access because they don’t have an internet-connected device, were selected from a pool of entries describing how a laptop computer would change the contestant’s life.
Older adults like contest winner Karen K. shared concrete and meaningful examples of how a computer would improve their lives: “The world is completely computerized and it would be a great asset if I could get a laptop to help me be connected online to pay bills, complete municipal services, buy groceries, stay in touch with my loved ones and the ever-changing world. Having a laptop would allow me to stay connected.”
Aging Connected organized the “Get Connected Remote Resource Fair” to December 16 to reach seniors who do not have high-speed Internet access at home. This event was part of a larger collaboration with Comcast’s Internet Essentials and local community partner organizations in BostonDC and Detroit, to help seniors connect. The competition was open between December 16 and December 30, 2021 to all legal residents of United States aged 60 or over who participated in the “Get Connected Remote Resource Fair”. The winners were recently notified and selected based on submissions on how a computer would change their lives.
“With the government’s new Affordable Connectivity Scheme, there’s no better time for older people to get online affordably. These prizes fill a need for the selected winners of the competition while raising awareness that ‘a broadband connection at home has become an absolute necessity for the elderly’, mentioned Amanda GembleDirector of Aging Connected. “Aging Connected strives to provide the information and support needed for every senior to connect at an affordable price.”
A May 2021 AARP Study found that for adults over 50, their biggest frustration with technology today is lack of knowledge. For the 15 seniors who received the new Chromebooks and all seniors, OATS is offering free virtual classes through AARP Senior Planet. These courses teach seniors how to integrate technology into their lives to better thrive in the digital age. If seniors have trouble starting their device or hit bumps in the road, OATS also offers a national technical support line to support them in their technological journeys.
“I’m a person who suffered a severe stroke three years ago and I’m desperately trying to stay connected. Using only the cell phone I have too much negative tone which is painful. I hope that the laptop will help me stay connected,” said the contest winner. Sandy A.
Initiatives such as Aging Connected help provide resources, support and education to seniors on the benefits of Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to help increase the number of seniors online. To address affordability, Aging Connected has spent months empowering seniors with information about the newly permanent CPA.
The ACP replaces the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). It increases the number of low-income Americans who will be eligible for program benefits, including $30-one month to pay for a high-speed Internet connection. Recent discoveries of a study made by the University of Southern California Annenberg on EBB “suggest that there is significant scope for improving program targeting and outreach efforts, as well as easing registration procedures for key groups of potential beneficiaries”.
“I don’t currently have a connected device, and I plan to use the computer with ACP program support and instructions for seniors. I hope to use it for doctor’s appointments, to connect with others to help me stay positive and to shop to make life easier,” said contest winner Linda R.
About AARP OATS
AARP’s Technology Services for Older Adults (OATS) helps seniors learn to use and leverage technology to transform their lives and communities. Through its flagship program, Senior Planet, OATS works closely with seniors to create extraordinary experiences in person and online. As one of AARP’s charitable affiliates, AARP’s OATS mission 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.
AARP Seniors Technology Services (OATS)
For publication: Monday, February 28, 2022
Media contactyou: [email protected]
SOURCE AARP Technology Services for Seniors