Older adults and their families with access to technology, including broadband internet, relevant devices and skill-building opportunities, have been able to seek out a wider array of information, services, and social connections more quickly, and organizations were able to reach them more effectively during the pandemic. Older adults without such access have been disproportionately impacted and will continue to be unless digital equity efforts and funding opportunities consider all of us.
Technology is a social determinant of health and the May session of the AFPHS Training Series will feature the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC), a cross-sector and statewide network of stakeholders promoting and supporting inclusive age- and dementia friendly communities. James Fuccione, Senior Director of MHAC, discussed strategies such as advocacy, partnerships and elevating promising practices to ensure older adults are included in digital equity work. Some of MHAC’s partners advancing local and regional digital equity solutions will also share their work and experiences. Overall, participants learned how embracing technology as a social determinant of health helps to engage key stakeholders and policymakers.