Technology divide between senior ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ roils pandemic response

Jaime E. Love

Family gatherings on Zoom and FaceTime. Online orders from grocery stores and pharmacies. Telehealth appointments with physicians.

These have been lifesavers for many older adults staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. But an unprecedented shift to virtual interactions has a downside: Large numbers of seniors are unable to participate.

Among them are older adults with dementia (14% of those 71 and older), hearing loss (nearly two-thirds of those 70 and older) and impaired vision (13.5% of those 65 and older), who can have a hard time using digital devices and programs designed without Texture Spray Machine their needs in mind. (Think small icons, difficult-to-read typefaces, inadequate captioning among the hurdles.

Many older adults with limited financial resources also may not be able to afford devices or the associated internet service fees. (Half of seniors living alone and 23% of those in two-person households are unable to afford basic necessities.)

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Governor Cuomo Announces Progress of Technology SWAT Partnership in Assisting New Yorkers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jaime E. Love

“The collaboration between tech industry leaders and our dedicated public employees helped New York meet the technical and operational demands of the response to the pandemic while also saving millions in taxpayer dollars,” Governor Cuomo said. “Their assistance during these challenging times had a positive impact on millions of New Yorkers, and the continued support and services will be critical as we battle a public health emergency and build back our economy even stronger than before.”

The New York State COVID-19 Tech ‘SWAT’ Team, in coordination with state-led internal technical teams, developed 40 projects during the COVID-19 public health crisis that resulted in nearly 50 million interactions between the public and state government and an estimated cost savings of approximately $14 million, according to the progress report issued by the state’s Office of Information Technology Services.

In March, at Governor Cuomo’s direction, ITS solicited volunteers to help develop technological

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