Coastline is thrilled to announce that its Technology Training Program has been selected to receive a 2023 Aging Achievement Award from USAging, one of the highest honors presented by USAging to its members.

The free program, which helps older adults stay socially connected through their computers and cellphones, was among only 50 aging programs in the U.S. to receive honors during USAging’s annual conference this month in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Coastline CEO Justin Lees was in Utah to accept the award on the organization’s behalf.

“The pandemic taught us just how important being connected is to people of all ages. Yet for older adults the barriers to using their phones or other devices have kept them isolated,” said Lees about the program’s success. “Through Coastline’s technology program older adults come together in small classes to learn at their own pace how to email, Zoom, take photos, text, and more.”

“The program has been a success since its inception,” added Coastline Planning Director Zach Boyer. “We’ve found older adults to be eager to learn how to better use their devices. Many start off not knowing how to email or text and end by sending photos and messages to their children and grandchildren. It’s amazing to see what these quick interactions that many of us take for granted mean to them.”

The program served 70 students in its first year. After each six-week session, participants were surveyed with positive results. One older adult said, “The class was wonderful; it stimulated me to get out of the house and use the computer with confidence. I would like to sign up for more classes, especially smartphone classes.”

The 2023 USAging Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards recognizes USAging’s Area Agency on Aging and Title VI Native American Aging Program members that have found new and innovative ways to support older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers as they live in their homes and communities.

“The AAAs and Title VI programs we honor today have set a standard for innovation and creativity in helping vulnerable older adults live with independence and dignity in their homes and communities,” said USAging CEO Sandy Markwood. “USAging is inspired by the example they have set for others in the Aging Network.”

All winners are highlighted in the USAging Aging Innovations & Achievement Awards Showcase.

Coastline is an Area Agency on Aging for eight communities in Massachusetts including New Bedford. The organization works with older adults and people with disabilities to help them live healthy, independent lives.

USAging is the national association representing and supporting the network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocating for the Title VI Native American Aging Programs.