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CITRIS Health Releases Resources To Help Connect Seniors With Technology And Telehealth

Following the “Lighthouse for Older Adults” pilot program, key learnings and resources are available to organizations to connect low-income seniors with technology and internet services

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that technology literacy and access has become more crucial than ever before. Unfortunately, 22 million older adults (ages 65 and above) in the United States do not have broadband access at home, preventing the use of digital resources for health and social support. CITRIS Health, an organization dedicated to advancing the well-being of older adults and family caregivers with enabling technology, is testing solutions to address inequities in access to telehealth and internet services for low-income seniors and is now releasing resources to allow others to implement similar systems for seniors in their community.

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CITRIS Health launched “Lighthouse for Older Adults,” a three-month Rapid Pilot Deployment (RPD) to equip older adult residents of affordable housing communities with high-speed broadband access, user-friendly devices, and digital literacy training they need to access information, health care services, and social connections. This program breaks down barriers in technology access, and following the RPD participants reported an increase in device usage and confidence using their devices.

image (1)“We found that it is crucial to understand the social-emotional needs of the population in order to provide resources and trainings that meet their needs,” said CITRIS Health Director and Lighthouse project lead David Lindeman. “Older adults have so much to gain from the connection and health care opportunities available with a basic understanding of technology and access to internet, and we’re eager to see this program replicated to improve equity in telehealth.”

Lighthouse developed and deployed a technology-enabled ecosystem that can serve as a model for replication. To provide actionable steps and key learnings for other organizations to implement similar programs, a Lighthouse resource library is available with information about the pilot. These resources can help increase technology literacy and improve the health and well-being of communities across the country.

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