As we wind down another year at Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP, I’d like to share some favorite moments, and highlight some accomplishments as well! This year presented unique challenges—the return to in-person programs, new strategies for innovation, and huge growth in our community-based nonprofit partnerships across the country. We made significant progress toward meeting the four strategic goals we set out for 2022: to expand our physical presence, target larger audiences, improve customer experience, and disrupt outmoded concepts of aging.
- Our flagship Senior Planet program provided over 350,000 engagements to new and returning participants this year!
- The release of the groundbreaking Fly Like an Eagle report offered statistical evidence that affirmed one of our core beliefs: technology training has a measurable effect on social isolation, loneliness, depression, and quality of life for older adults.
- We exceeded targets for customer satisfaction across Senior Planet programs.
- We sponsored over 152 active licensing sites nationwide that offer free Senior Planet programs to adults in local communities. We also began delivering in-person programs in collaboration with AARP state offices across the country.
- A collaboration with the AARP Foundation, funded by Google, helped over 9,700 low-income older adults build skills to find jobs, change careers, and explore entrepreneurship.
- Our fitness offerings continued to be a crowd-pleaser. We began live-streaming wellness classes on the Senior Planet YouTube channel, and also celebrated another year of the Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete program.
In addition to these programs, we rallied efforts around our Aging Connected digital equity work, which will lay the framework for state broadband offices to maximize engagement with the Digital Equity Act and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which helps eligible low-income households pay for internet service and devices.
For nearly 20 years, OATS has seen first-hand the transformative power of older adults who continue to learn and grow in this increasingly technological world. This year we continued our legacy of supporting older adults from all over the country in finding new ways to thrive and connect. I met Senior Planet Supporters from Wyoming, Texas, Florida, and of course, our hometown here in New York, who told me great stories about meeting new people on Senior Planet and finding encouragement in reaching their goals. It’s truly an honor to be part of these stories.
Finally, I hope you can take a moment and donate to help OATS increase our impact. All our direct programs are delivered free of charge to older adults. We simply cannot succeed without you, and we put every penny to good use.
All of us at OATS are looking forward to another exciting year to come. Here’s to a healthy, secure, and connected new year!
Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP