ALBANY — The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) announced the launch of its new website, aging.ny.gov, featuring improved design, navigation, search functions, and accessibility from virtually any device.
“Older adults are increasingly using technology to connect to news and information, health and wellness resources, and social supports,” said Acting Director Greg Olsen. “The newly redesigned website puts vital information about aging programs and services into the hands of older New Yorkers, families, and caregivers, and is yet another way that New York, as the first age friendly state, is helping older adults remain independent, healthy, and engaged in their communities.”
According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of adults over the age of 65 use the Internet and 88 percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 use the Internet. And while smartphone ownership was uncommon at all ages 20 years ago, about half (53%) of people age 65 and older now own smartphones. These numbers will only continue to increase as the aging population grows.
There has been a dramatic shift in the way 21st century citizens of all ages look for and obtain information. With much of today’s interactions happening over the Internet, the newly redesigned NYSOFA website offers a convenient way for older New Yorkers and their loved ones to easily connect to information and services.
The new site follows the format of the ny.gov official state website and features streamlined information about programs and services, improved search functions, intuitive navigation, and a modern, visually appealing design. In addition, the website links to the state’s powerful navigation tool, which enables visitors to conveniently bookmark relevant services and return to them later using the My Services feature, enhancing the customer service experience for users.
The site also provides valuable information and guidance for the aging services provider network on forms, issuances, reporting, and training opportunities to help ensure that aging services professionals have the tools they need to best respond to the current and emerging needs of older New Yorkers and caregivers.
Site visitors can also interact with aging.ny.gov on any device and digital screen, reflecting the large number of users who access information from a mobile device. Social media features allow visitors to easily share and discover information through various social media platforms.
In response to evolving technology and the overall increase in the use of smartphones, in 2017, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State launched the first in the nation statewide Aging Services mobile app, which provides New York’s more than 4.3 million older adults with easily accessible material about benefits, programs, and services, including information regarding health and wellness, housing, and transportation options. The Aging Services app also links users with live information and assistance through NY Connects, the state’s “no wrong door” system for community-based long-term services and supports, which is designed to help older adults and those with disabilities remain healthy and independent. The free app is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms.