RRF Foundation for Aging

RRF Foundation for Aging is providing support to URI in collaboration with Appalachian State University to conduct a study called, Implementation Research: An Intergenerational Technology Model in Higher Education. Intergenerational technology programs have proven to help address social isolation and technology needs within the older adult population while also providing an opportunity for younger adults to gain professional experience and skill and reduce ageism, specifically negative attitudes towards older adults and aging. Higher education is well-suited to expand sustainable programming and community outreach; however, there is a lack of research on the implementation of intergenerational technology programs within the higher education context. The basis of the study is to understand how to effectively use technology as a tool for connection to promote meaningful engagement and create social bonds across generations within higher education systems partnering with local communities. Through a multimodal qualitative method, this study will address three aims: 1) to investigate factors and practices that impact implementation of intergenerational technology programs (i.e., Cyber-Seniors) within higher education; 2) to adapt existing best practice resources to better serve institutions of higher education that implement intergenerational technology programs; 3) to pilot the adapted checklist within two new higher education programs.

Office of Healthy Aging digiAGE Cyber-Seniors Pilot

As a component of the Office of Health Aging digiAGE initiative, we are implementing a pilot program aimed at bridging the digital divide for Rhode Island older adults living in lower-income communities. We will provide devices, internet access, and technology support for 200 older Rhode Islanders to become more digitally literate. We will also be developing a tool kit of technology tutorials and guides for older adults, and we will develop a train-the-trainer curriculum to begin training older adults to support digiAGE initiatives.

RI Housing

In 2021-2022, RI Housing funded the URI Cyber-Seniors Program to expand the implementation of the digiAGE iPad project. The program provided iPads, Hotspots for internet connection, and binders of resources and materials to older adults from across Rhode Island.

van Beuren Charitable Foundation

In 2022, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation funded the URI Cyber-Seniors Program to implement the digiAGE iPad project within Newport Counties. URI worked with the Edward King House, Newport Housing Authority, the Jamestown Senior Center, and the Jamestown Housing Authority to provide iPads and technological support to older adults affiliated with these organizations.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island provided funding to help build the capacity of the URI Cyber-Seniors program to foster continued and new partnerships and capabilities. Due to the increased need for the program due to COVID-19, we plan to recruit more student mentors than in previous years, so this funding provides administrative support and funding to ensure this experience is valuable for all involved.


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