Good Samaritan Society and AARP Foundation introduce program to reduce isolation for seniors
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Published on Sep 13, 2013
The Good Samaritan Society is facilitating AARP Foundation's Connecting to Community © pilot program to help combat social isolation for older adults through the use of iPads.
The program is being implemented at four Sioux Falls, S.D., Good Samaritan Society locations, more than 50 participants will receive iPads, Internet service, volunteer-led instruction, training and support for six months. Classes begin Sept. 18 and take place twice a week with a lab once a week.
The Society collaborated with University of South Dakota social work and occupational therapy faculty to recruit students to serve as volunteers to teach the participants how to use the iPads, social media and apps. Older Adults Technology Services, an organization that provides technology trainings to seniors, trained and will support the volunteers.
"Our collaboration with AARP Foundation, Older Adults Technology Services, and University of South Dakota is an exciting first step and an amazing way to explore how technology and training for older adults can help stem the problem of social isolation," said Bill Anderson, Vice President for Quality, Innovation, and Change Engineering at the Good Samaritan Society. "AARP Foundation's Connecting to Community pilot—and the Society's foundational relationship with them on this work—is sure to be a success for those we serve and the organizations and institutions participating."
AARP Foundation research shows that isolation is a social problem that affects nearly one in five older Americans. While the adoption of technology has been proven to increase social engagement among older adults, many are unable to take advantage of the benefits due to the lack of instructional opportunities and support.
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