Penn Asian Senior Services

Penn Asian Senior Services

PASSi helps Asian American seniors access the support they need to live independently in their community. We provide culturally appropriate, in-language care through home caregivers, an adult day care, and a community center that any community member can join. We also help seniors find and apply for other government services

Penn Asian Senior Services

PASSi helps Asian American seniors access the support they need to live independently in their community. We provide culturally appropriate, in-language care through home caregivers, an adult day care, and a community center that any community member can join. We also help seniors find and apply for other government services in our PACE center. To provide the best care for our seniors, we train home caregivers in our vocational school. We offer classes for home health aides and certified nursing assistants, along with ESL classes designed specifically for healthcare workers. We offer classes in English, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian/Creole.

About the Organization:

PASSi helps Asian American seniors access the support they need to live independently in their community. We provide culturally appropriate, in-language care through home caregivers, an adult day care, and a community center that any community member can join. We also help seniors find and apply for other government services in our PACE center. To provide the best care for our seniors, we train home caregivers in our vocational school. We offer classes for home health aides and certified nursing assistants, along with ESL classes designed specifically for healthcare workers. We offer classes in English, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Haitian/Creole.

organizational budget

5 MILLION - 8 MILLION

existence for

16-20 YEARS

The Issue:

Life is moving online, but seniors—especially low-income seniors and seniors with limited English—are largely excluded.
According to census data for Philadelphia, only 27% of seniors with income below $30,000 have high-speed internet. The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) reports that 21% of immigrant adults who don’t speak English at home have no computer experience, compared to 5% of English speakers.
Even if they get online, seniors are victims of digital scams or misinformation. Researchers from Princeton and NYU found that seniors were seven times more likely than people under 29 to share misinformation online. Likewise, the Department of Justice estimates older adults lose more than $3 billion each year to financial scams.
But seniors cannot improve their digital literacy by themselves. According to surveys from the Pew Research Center, just 18% of seniors feel comfortable learning to use a new device on their own.

The Solution:

The obvious solution is to teach seniors digital literacy. The question is how to structure the training sessions.
Studies on teaching seniors to use technology suggest training sessions should be frequent, flexible, brief, and social. We will combine two methods: regular tech-support open houses where seniors can find help, and later, one-on-one intergenerational mentorships with tech-savvy young people from local Asian student organizations.
The open houses will create a social environment where seniors can see their problems are common and there’s nothing to be anxious about. The positive reinforcement from this social circle will motivate seniors to learn more.
Using intergenerational mentors has been validated in studies on how to get seniors to use eHealth devices. Seniors who worked with younger mentors showed better digital literacy, improved confidence, lower technophobia, and reduced social isolation. These mentorships should improve digital literacy and create intergenerational ties in our community.

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