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Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Available to Older Adults

As of July 4th, over 34,000 Massachusetts households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities working to become age-and dementia friendly to raise awareness about this program to help connect older adults to internet access.

The EBB provides eligible households with a temporary, monthly discount of up to $50 towards their broadband service. 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. Continue reading

Report from RWJF and Healthy Places by Design Recommends Community-Based Solutions to Improve Social Connectedness

To amplify learning around social isolation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions team invested in six projects that reached diverse places and people as well as a learning network coordinated by Healthy Places by Design.

This Learning Network and their report, Socially Connected Communities: Solutions to Social Isolation, brings a much needed perspective to the national conversation, and provides philanthropy and local leaders ideas for actions which could dramatically improve social well-being. Continue reading

State Funding Awards for Housing, Transportation and Community Services Include Strong Support for Older Adults

In the past week, the state has announced the latest grant awards for MassDOT’s Shared Winter Streets and Spaces program, Affordable Housing Development, and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – all of which include multiple projects that support older adults.

All of the following award announcements are great examples for age- and dementia friendly communities looking to address housing, transportation and community services.

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LGBT Aging 2025: Strategies for Achieving a Healthy and Thriving LGBT Older Adult Community in Massachusetts

A new report from The Fenway Institute finds that older LGBTQ adults in the Commonwealth report being diagnosed with depression at twice the rate of their straight, cisgender peers, and are twice as likely to fall and be injured in a fall over the past year.

It also finds that while older LGBTQ adults are more likely to hold a college degree, they are more likely to report having had difficulty paying for housing or food over the past year. LGBTQ older adults living in rural areas of the state expressed concern about the lack of options for LGBTQ-affirming health care, as well as their on-going experiences with strong anti-LGBTQ prejudice and harassment in public settings and senior housing. Continue reading