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Technology

Implementing a program to support rural aging in place is likely to require some investment in technology. This may be used to help connect older adults with one another, the community, and long-distance loved ones. For example, older adults may use the Internet to communicate with others from a distance, using email or video calls. Or, they may engage via social media to foster new relationships, connect with others, and learn about events and resources in their community. Telehealth technology may also help provide healthcare.

Whatever its purpose, implementing a program using technology for aging in place requires initial and ongoing investment, including funds for:

  • The installation of the technology
  • Technological equipment like computers, routers, and receivers
  • Ongoing upkeep and maintenance
  • Space and equipment to house the technology

In rural areas, it is also important to consider the availability of broadband connectivity, which is more limited in rural areas.

Successful implementation of any program using technology also requires:

  • Investing in staff who can help to install, manage, and troubleshoot any issues related to technology
  • Training for staff and providers who will interact with technology
  • Education for older adults and their caregivers and loved ones who will use the technology in their homes

Resources to Learn More

Telehealth Resource Centers
Website
These resource centers assist healthcare organizations, networks, and providers in implementing telehealth programs that serve rural and medically-underserved areas.
Organization(s): Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration