Since the pandemic started a year ago, many of us have been seeking out new ways to connect with our loved one’s while being separated. For many, this meant introducing technology to seniors for a visual connection to their family, friends, and doctors. However, many of these older adults have never had internet access, never have been online, nor do they have the confidence to use these new devices and software.
If your aging loved one needs help with these new technologies, there are organizations that will help link up seniors with experts. For a fee, seniors can get help with setup, tech support, and training to help them feel more comfortable with smartphones, computers, tablets, and more.
- Papa – Papa currently provides in-person services in over 17 states and will be located in all 50 states by 2021. They also can provide remote/online technology services to teach individuals about smartphones, computers, tablets, and more. Call them to learn more at 800-348-7951.
- Candoo – Candoo provides technology services to help solve immediate tech issues, learn something new or purchase a new device all remotely by phone or online. Give them a call at 646-758-6606.
There is also an organization that can offer seniors free technology courses. The Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) mission is to help seniors learn and use technology so they can live better in the digital age. OATS created a program called Senior Planet that offers multi-week technology courses, most of them for free, that help seniors learn computer basics and develop computer skills. Senior Planet has six U.S. physical locations (with more coming) and offers online and by phone training as well. If you have a tech question, seniors can call Senior Planet’s National Tech Hotline at 920-666-1959. Their hotline is available Monday-Friday between 9 am-5 pm EDT.
An internet connection is needed to use these technologies and helpful services, but monthly internet service fees can get expensive. Fortunately, there are services available to help. In our last blog, information was provided on the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program that can provide households with a discount for internet service.
OATS has also launched a campaign to increase internet access among older adults. Aging Connected has a goal to connect one million more aging adults to the internet by 2022. Aging Connected can help find subsidized/low-cost internet in your area by entering your zip code on their website or by calling their support number at 877-745-1930.
I believe these programs are well worth checking into to help seniors maximize the benefits of using technology.