Bridging the Digital Divide
Missoula Aging Services expands new program, Lifelong Connections, to connect older adults with online resources, family and friends.
Technology can address some of the challenges associated with social isolation during the pandemic, but many of our older neighbors have limited access to computers or an internet connection. Others have outdated equipment without cameras or microphones, leaving them unable to take advantage of telehealth opportunities to stay connected to their physicians.
Lifelong Connections helps bridge this gap. MAS developed this program that purchases wi-fi enabled tablets, trains volunteers, and then matches them with older adults ready to learn the basics of using email, Facetime, Zoom, and other applications.
Lifelong Connections trains older adults on how to use technology in order to access telehealth, reduce social isolation, continue to volunteer, and to be able to take advantage of the services available online. In partnership with the Ravalli County Council on Aging, this program is now available to older adults in both Missoula and Ravalli Counties.
Over 80 local residents have already benefitted from this program!
A number of Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions have been trained through Lifelong Connections and provided with Samsung tablets with unlimited data services so they may continue to volunteer in our community.
MAS is currently seeking more participants and volunteers for this exciting program.
To find out more, call (406) 728-7682.
This program was made possible by several generous donors, notably the Jane S. Heman Foundation and the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust.