Thursday October 28, 2021
ADRC Senior Connect program reaches more participants
The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Capital Area, a CAPCOG program, exceeded its goal for placing mobile devices in the hands of older adults to combat social isolation and increase access to services through its Senior Connect Program. It also reached a more diverse participant pool as the ADRC’s service providers, AGE of Central Texas and Community Tech Network, translated the program and provided training in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how big of an issue older adult isolation can be,” said Raynon McKee, ADRC critical response coordinator. “Using CARE’s Act funding, this program launched to connect older adults with family members, friends and doctors wherever they are.” The ADRC Senior Connect Program worked with 11 nonprofits to select older adults facing social isolation and provided them with tablet computers. Trainers then worked with each older adult on safely using the device as a communication tool over five training sessions to make the learner comfortable with the technology. While the program focused on communicating with others, it also taught them how to recognize and prevent potential cybercrimes. “They are learning how to better live in this current digital climate,” McKee said. “You don’t just pick up a phone and talk to someone anymore; you have can now text chat, email and even video chat with service providers.”
The ADRC Senior Connect pilot program ended in August, but ADRC is exploring funding avenues to keep the program in place so older adults can improve their ability to age in place.
Learn about the ADRC.