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
During 2021, the Alliance for Digital Equity conducted an assessment of the digital divide and digital equity with over 100 organizations in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties of Massachusetts. Combined with recent census data, the assessment led to a report providing community-level insight into challenges facing those communities with lessons for communities across Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is a member of the Alliance for Digital Equity and contributed to the report, which includes examples of digital equity programs and practices that support older adults. Continue reading
An issue brief published by Kaiser Family Foundation dives into the rapid expansion of telehealth during the pandemic. For example, among the vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries with a usual source of care (95%), such as a doctor or other health professional, or a clinic, nearly two-thirds (64% or 33.6 million) say that their provider currently offers telehealth appointments, up from 18% who said their provider offered telehealth before the pandemic.
But nearly a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries (23%) say they don’t know if their provider offers telehealth appointments, and this percentage is larger among beneficiaries who live in rural areas (30%). Continue reading
The Federal Communications Commission today (5/12) kicked off the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this program will make available up to $3.2 billion worth of consumer discounts on broadband services and equipment like computers and tablets. Continue reading
In an effort to address issues around internet access and the digital divide, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) released a map of local libraries offering internet access via wi-fi signals outside of their buildings. Continue reading
In addition to an evolving COVID-19 resource page, MHAC is continuing to collect and share updates on COVID-19 from state government, federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, and other key stakeholders.
These updates are to help and inform a wide range of individuals and partners, including communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly.
Please see the latest updates below: Continue reading