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Erie County Department of Senior Services bringing older adults, senior centers together with debut of new interactive tech


Mon, Jun 10th 2024 04:10 pm

New televisions, computer equipment link centers to interact for meetings, University Express classes, recreation, more

Submitted by the Press Secretary to the Erie County Executive

Geographical barriers that hindered the older adult community in Erie County from socialization are being erased with the unveiling of new interactive technology in Erie County senior centers designed to foster connection, fun, and mental stimulation for older adults. The new connectivity is powered by $450,000 in American Rescue Plan funding, with 20 senior centers, thus far, being equipped with laptops, televisions/speakers, and Cisco soundbars to facilitate the connection. Some sites also have Nintendo Switches for recreational use.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz today joined Commissioner of Senior Services Angela Marinucci and enthusiastic seniors at the East Aurora Senior Center to try out the new system with a round of trivia involving teams at several different senior centers.

“Technology is bringing older adults together, and this initiative is a great way for Erie County Senior Services to build connections and a stronger community,” Poloncarz said. “We are having fun here today, but this system can also be used to disseminate important information, connect centers at times of emergency, and keep people informed of what’s happening in the community. I thank the Biden administration for making this funding possible, and also Commissioner Marinucci and her team for building this new level of connectivity for older adults.”

Marinucci said, “Combatting social isolation is crucial for mental health, as prolonged loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety and other serious health issues. Additionally, fostering social connections strengthens community bonds, promoting overall societal well-being and resilience. This initiative, which will eventually include all centers, reflects our commitment to enhancing the well-being of our community by providing older adults with innovative tools to stay engaged and connected with one another.”

Erie County senior centers open doors to new friendships, engaging activities, and invaluable support networks. Whether it’s trying out a new hobby, staying active with fitness classes, or simply enjoying a meal with a friend, senior centers provide a space where you can thrive and connect with others who share your experiences and interests.

For more information, contact the Department of Senior Services NY Connects line at 716-858-8526.

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