(TRENTON) – In an effort to combat social isolation, Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department’s partnership with GetSetUp, an interactive online learning community, to provide free, live virtual classes for New Jerseyans ages 60 and older.
The GetSetUp platform offers live classes taught by peers who are experts in their field, social hours hosted by community members, and special events with speakers who directly address areas of interest to older adults. Older New Jerseyans can choose from more than 500 available classes on a range of topics such as aging in place, computers, budgeting, mental fitness, and more. Classes are offered in English, Spanish, Hindi and Mandarin. Classes are available 24 hours a day. To reach the New Jersey GetSetUp site, visit getsetup.io/partner/NJ.
“We are so excited to provide this opportunity to older New Jerseyans who want to learn a new skill or simply stay connected. Older adults often face social isolation that can be detrimental to their physical, mental, and emotional health. Exploring new activities and interacting and connecting with others can help enhance their quality of life and help prevent the health risks associated with isolation,” said Commissioner Adelman.
“We know that having social connections can help older adults live healthier lives. The GetSetUp portal offers virtual learning and social interaction that can help reduce the risk for social isolation. I encourage older New Jerseyans to sign up and take advantage of the free classes available,” said Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services Kaylee McGuire.
Individuals can join GetSetUp classes from any computer, laptop or mobile device with an Internet connection. To learn how to create a GetSetUp account, visit here
“One of our goals at the Division of Aging is to bridge the technological gap for older adults. GetSetUp offers technology and social media classes that can help older New Jerseyans be more comfortable with technology, so they can use it to their benefit. Older New Jerseyans who lack internet access can check their eligibility for discounted internet service through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. Those eligible can also qualify for a one-time discount on the purchase of a tablet or laptop,” said Division of Aging Services Director Louise Rush.
“We hear learner feedback daily about how technology is helping to connect older adults not only to friends and family, but also to opportunities to learn and age healthier,” said Lawrence Kosick, President and Co-Founder of GetSetUp. “GetSetUp empowers older adults to learn about technology and how to use their smart devices in a safe environment that connects them with a vibrant community of peers that are passionate about similar topics. It's great to partner with the New Jersey Division of Aging Services to offer services that allow for equity and diversity which enables their older population to live happy, healthy, and more connected lives.”
The GetSetUp partnership is the latest in a series of efforts by the Department as part of the Murphy Administration’s support to older New Jerseyans.
Earlier this year the state increased income limits for the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount drug assistance programs, making more people eligible for prescription drug assistance. Last year, the state joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, which helps participating states and communities adopt practices such as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. The Age-Friendly State Advisory Council, created by Executive Order No. 227, is working to identify opportunities for creating livable communities for people of all ages in New Jersey, recommend best practices for age-friendly work, and promote community inclusion across the state.