Why are many older Americans still hesitant to buy mobile phones, tablets or other devices, access the Internet or become broadband adopters? According to recent studies, many seniors say they shy away from using new devices because they are not sure how to use them or have trouble seeing the display, using the touch screens, hearing the prompts or learning the appropriate commands. Some are afraid to ask for help or simply don’t know where to get the help they need. 

A recent Pew study shows 77 percent of seniors are willing to learn how to use tablets and smartphones, but indicated they would need some assistance.  

To raise awareness of the benefits of broadband-enabled communications technology and to help facilitate its use, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is hosting a special event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, 2014, in recognition of Older Americans Month. Presentations and demonstrations will show older Americans, their families and caregivers how they can Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Stay Connected.

The FCC event will highlight new programs, phone apps, government websites, and discuss how to harness these new resources to maximize access and facilitate healthy, connected living from home. The program will feature consumer information about:

  • staying safe online
  • text alerts
  • communicating during emergencies
  • technologies for people with disabilities
  • aging in place
  • telemedicine
  • digital literacy
  • remote access to loved ones and health care providers

Presenters include FCC experts as well as representatives from other agencies, nonprofits, academia and the private sector.

Our goal is to help older Americans better understand how broadband access can vastly improve their quality of life, reduce isolation, help them keep pace with sweeping changes in health care laws and technologies and greatly increase access to home health care. The timely information will be especially helpful as more Baby Boomers opt to live in their homes longer as they age. 

The event is open to the public and will be webcast live. For more information, and the complete event agenda, visit:


For more information on Older Americans Month, please visit: http://www.acl.gov/NewsRoom/Observances/oam/2014/Index.aspx