AARP and Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), the parent of Senior Planet, have teamed up to offer free technology classes to older adults. The partnership is intended to help older adults thrive in the digital world and use technology to improve their social engagement, financial security, civic participation, health, and creativity, said an AARP press release. The AARP Foundation is a LeadingAge CAST Patron.
 
The organizations have partnered on projects for over a decade, said a recent article on AARP.org announcing the class partnership. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, they jointly offered a class on using Zoom that more than 10,000 people joined, the article said.
 
OATS will continue to offer its programs independently. AARP will expand OATS offerings and enable both organizations to reach more people through AARP’s new Virtual Community Center, announced in early February. The Virtual Community Center offers a wide variety of free interactive online events and classes designed for learning, self-improvement, and fun. It is open to AARP members and non-members.
 
Tech assistance is especially needed for older adults now, as the pandemic has increased social isolation and moved many activities online. The Pew Research Center collected data before the pandemic indicating that more than a quarter of people 65 and older never went online and that even fewer people aged 80 and older did so.
 
Pew data also found that many older adults are not confident in their ability to use devices and software that could help them.

CAST Resident/Client Technology Support and Training Guide

If you are providing technology classes, consider providing tech support to your residents as well. A new Resident/Client Technology Support and Training Guide from LeadingAge CAST will help ensure that your residents have the support they need to take advantage of technology’s benefits. 

The guide includes a white paper, an interactive guide, and four case studies. The latest CAST Resource, it will give you important information on the different support, training, and business models available.