Comcast recently announced the launch of two pilot programs to help provide high-speed Internet access to U.S. seniors. Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David L Cohen visited the Lady Shaw Senior Care Center in San Francisco to announce the extension of a pre-existing program that provides low-income Americans with high-speed Internet access for just $10 a month.
Previously, the cable company announced their new “Internet Essentials” program, which provides fast Internet access for just $9.95 a month to families with one or more children in a free lunch program at school. So far, an estimated 2 million people (500,000 families) have taken advantage of the service. The deal also includes a free modem, Wi-Fi router, and digital literacy training. Furthermore, there’s no contract, credit check, or installation fees for qualifying families. Now, Comcast wants to allow seniors to access the program as well. In addition to the San Francisco pilot program, Comcast is also testing the initiative in Palm Beach, Florida.
About 90% of aging Americans say they want to “age in place,” meaning they hope to remain in their own home as long as possible. But unfortunately, three out of 10 adult children say their aging parents need help taking care of themselves. And because seniors will make up 20% of the U.S. population by 2030, millions of older Americans could soon require senior home care services. Plus, the Pew Research Center reports that only 47% of Americans ages 65 and older currently have high-speed Internet access, and the numbers drop in lower income brackets.
That means programs like this could potentially help millions more Americans age in place more successfully. And for seniors who do move into assisted living communities, widely available Internet access could help keep them connected with friends and family. Senior home care workers already help older Americans manage their affairs and keep in touch with their loved ones, and Internet access could help them provide a higher level of care. In the meantime, you can contact senior home care providers in your area if you want to help an aging loved one get online.