“Being able to use the webcam from our campus device library lets me stay connected after my surgery. I use it to talk to family and my doctors sometimes, even though I am at home in my apartment. I really like the classes too!”
—68-year-old resident

2Life Communities is honored to receive a one-year $50,000 grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to support our Bridging the Digital Divide community investment project. 2Life’s overarching goal is to promote wellness in older adults and this community-based project focuses on building a replicable model for effectively connecting linguistically diverse, low-income older adults to services, programs and each other through technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored that access to technology is an issue of equity and a social determinant of health while clearly illustrating that internet access must be provided as a public utility. During the pandemic, staff at 2Life figured out how to build an accessible, community-supported, user-friendly digital device lending library for low-income elders who have little to no experience with technology. And at the core of this project is the shared commitment to move communities toward age-friendly practices so that older adults have the resources and access they need for healthy living and healthy aging. We look forward to working with and sharing our knowledge with other organizations that are struggling to develop their own program to fill this equity gap by providing access, equity, education and empowerment for all.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation is the only regional funder exclusively focused on healthy aging. This is one of 16 new community investments totaling nearly $2 million reflecting the Foundation’s support for collaborative initiatives helping communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island be great places to grow up and grow old. The new grants engage older people in systems-level change to remove barriers responsible for inequities in communities across the region.

“Older people were among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Point32Health. “These investments will support community resiliency and build on what we’ve learned in the past 16 months—that collaboration across organizations and sectors strengthens communities and result in better outcomes.”

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