Communication & Information
While there are a myriad of programs, events, and activities throughout Berkeley, it is often difficult for older adults to find what they want or need. Many older adults have internet access either through their mobile phone or at home, but websites are not intuitive or easy to navigate. Input from older adults about their needs and how they are currently getting information will help tailor existing communication to better meet their needs.
Age Friendly Resources
Nonprofit & University
Community Survey Results
Some information regarding internet use among seniors emerged from the community survey. Many residents who submitted the survey did so online, making the sample slightly skewed towards more internet savvy people. Even though the majority of respondents said that they were comfortable using the internet, almost half indicated they would be interested in internet/technology classes if they were available.
An independent needs assessment contracted by the city as part of their Digital Divide project found that some of the barriers for older adults in using technology include:
According to focus groups done by the Berkeley Continuum and the Age-Friendly Berkeley Initiative,
Many older people are concerned about how to navigate different systems in the city, including resources for transportation, housing, and healthcare.
Most people want to be able to call someone or go somewhere to find information about services, but they don't know of any "one stop shop" for different kinds of information.
While people who are members of an organization like Ashby Village or who live in affordable housing with a service coordinator know where to go for help, this situation does not exist for most people.
Most people said they prefer getting information from a person, either over the phone or face-to-face, rather than online. However, the number of people who can find information online if they need it is increasing.
of survey respondents would be at least somewhat likely to use Internet/ Technology training if it was free or low-cost
2-1-1 calls were made by Berkeley residents between January and August 2018
people on average read Berkeleyside each month
2-1-1 referrals were made between January and August 2018
Infrastructure and Policy: The city website is difficult to navigate and needs to be updated more regularly in order to be a useful source of information for residents with varying degrees of comfort using the internet.
Equity and Inclusion: While most survey respondents said they use the internet, this may be a skewed sample because of the many surveys completed online. Focus groups indicated that older people also get information from schools, their children, or their neighbors. Multiple modes of communication, including paper and online formats, should be used to ensure that older adults are able to stay informed, particularly those who are isolated.
Information: While 2-1-1 receives hundreds of calls each month from Berkeley residents and makes referrals to services, it is not clear how many older people use this service and follow through on referrals (the system does not collect this data). This site is also difficult to navigate and does not contain information regarding activities and opportunities for social engagement.