How tech is helping elderly fight coronavirus lockdown loneliness

news
10/04/2020

The COVID-19 crisis has provided an unexpected opportunity for some seniors to learn news ways to stay connected.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, Americans are adjusting to what it means to put their lives on hold. While the workforce has pivoted to remote arrangements and many young people are having virtual happy hours, many older Americans lack the necessary skills to stay connected through technology. But now, some organisations that serve senior populations are making strides to change that.

At New York City's 92nd Street Y, the membership-based Himan Brown Senior Program provides classes, social groups, and other resources to 650 senior citizens. The Arts Center at the 92nd Street Y considers retirees to be the core audience for daytime programming. Between the two, hundreds of in-person classes were held on a weekly basis. On Friday, March 13, all 200 of the Arts Center's classes went online.

"Had we pitched remote learning under normal circumstances, I don't think anyone would have bought in, but given the necessity of the situation [our seniors] were motivated," said Emily Coyne, programme manager at the 92nd Street Y's Arts Center, told Al Jazeera.

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