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AARP: Seniors Need Better Internet Access to Support Aging in Place

4-16-2013 National:

Seniors need to have better access to high-speed Internet in order to benefit from Web-based technologies that support aging in place such as telehealth and “smart home” systems, says AARP in a Public Policy Institute report.

Many older adults still do not have affordable, high-speed connectivity at home, and a review of 2010′s National Broadband Plan suggests a “slow and uncertain progress” to address barriers to older adults’ adoption and use of broadband, according to the report.

Just under four in ten people aged 65 and older had high-speed Internet access in their homes as of 2012, compared to 77% of the 30-49 age demographic.

Among minorities, access dips much lower, to 18% of African-Americans aged 60 and older, and 20% of Hispanics in the same age cohort.

Lacking access to broadband access is a problem, according to an FCC chairman who said that “broadband has gone from being a luxury to being a necessity for full participation in our economy and society.”

While the Internet was once predominantly used by consumers for email and reading Web pages, says AARP, it has become a more powerful and common platform with many more capacities. ...continued... by Alyssa Gerace

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