Jean Square

Digital Inclusion Program

How can society reduce loneliness and isolation in older adults?

A pilot program of the California Department of Aging (CDA) is one way, providing iPads at no cost. Digital devices from the Connections, Health, Aging, and Technology (CHAT) program enables older adults to connect with family, friends, and services.

Jean Square, for example, received her iPad through the Bradley Multipurpose Senior Center run by Watts Labor Community Action Committee in South Central Los Angeles. Although she is tech-savvy, Square had never before used an iPad, so she took full advantage of CHAT’s one-on-one and group training sessions.

"The best thing," Jean says, "was learning Zoom and connecting with friends and family around the country. It was invaluable during the (COVID-19) quarantine to keep connected with those we were separated from.

"The older population is often overlooked when it comes to technology and education," she continues. "This was an excellent opportunity and I’m thankful we have not been forgotten. I give our instructors an ‘AAA’ for their assistance and patience."

California is celebrating 50 years of empowering older adults through dedicated services.

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