Using computer technology to improve rural seniors' access to health care information

Computer technology, especially the Internet, offers essential tools for accessing valuable health information; in particular, the elderly stand to benefit greatly from the use of computer technology. Although the elderly are the fastest growing segment of computer users, 74 percent of Americans over the age of 50 fear the Internet and have little or no interest in using it. Barriers to Internet use include concern for confidentiality, lack of technical ability and training opportunities, and lack of access. The purpose of this project is to use student trainers to increase seniors' awareness of the value of, and skills in using, the Internet as a source of health information, as well as to create social connections between seniors and young adults in the community. The project activities will include training for students in senior health issues and basic computer literacy training for seniors who will receive technical support and assistance in computer use from their student trainers. The project will be institutionalized by placing computers at multiple locations accessible to seniors. A pre- and post-evaluation tool will assess the project's impact. This project will be considered successful if it results in senior clients demonstrating increased use of, and more positive attitudes toward, in-home instruction by youth trainers and use of the Internet for health information.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $50,000.00

Awarded on: 6/7/2002

Time frame: 6/1/2002 - 8/31/2005

Grant Number: 45766


Voorhees College Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health

1411 Voorhees Road
P.O. Box 678
Denmark, 29042-0678


Leroy Davis
Project Director