Resources to Bridge the Digital Divide Among Older Adults

Older and other at-risk adults are staying home to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic (covid19.ca.gov). Technology has become an increasingly important tool for us to stay connected to each other and to the goods, services, and supports we need to stay healthy and thrive. Through technology, we can check in with family and friends, share our knowledge and volunteer our time with our communities, stay in touch with our health care providers, find healthy foods, perform meaningful work, and learn new skills – all from a safe distance.

We can work together to bridge the "digital divide" and make sure everyone has access to affordable high-speed internet, devices and skills to navigate online safely, and meaningful content and tools to meet their needs. Check out the resources below to learn more and get connected.

Two older adults smiling and using a tablet smart device

Webinars on the Digital Divide

CDA and partners are hosting a series of webinars to help bridge the digital divide among older adults and help us all stay connected.

More Coming Soon.

Watch our past Staying Connected webinars on our YouTube channel here:

The Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.

Older adult talking on a smart phone device

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

How to Apply

There are three ways for eligible households to apply:

  • Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
  • Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
  • Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:
    Emergency Broadband Support Center
    P.O. Box 7081
    London, KY 40742

After receiving an eligibility determination, households can contact their preferred service provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.

Older adult talking on a smart phone device

Resources to Stay Active and Connected Through Technology

Resource Description
LA County Library LA County Library offers free public resources including books, music, multimedia materials, computer and internet access, and educational and recreational services.
Sociavi Sociavi’s goal is to connect generations simply and easily
FlexTogether FlexTogether is the online fitness studio designed for older adults. Through a combination of low impact fitness classes and video chat, FlexTogether promotes wellness and connectedness.
Music Mends Minds Music Mends Minds (MMM) mission is to improve the lives of patients with neurological diseases through the healing power of music.
Megilla Megilla is an online video-storytelling platform intentionally designed for older adults & families to easily record their valuable life stories & legacies.
Sagely Sagely is a senior living resident engagement platform that allows communities to deeply understand their residents and engage them in more active lives.