Impact Broward, a non-profit with more than 50 years of history of engaging seniors through service to meet critical community needs, has announced a new name and mission. Now known as The South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), the organization will address the upcoming challenges of an aging population where, according to the AARP, one in four residents of Broward County will be 65 years old or older by 2040. SoFIA’s mission is to improve economic and social insights and services to empower people as they age. SoFIA programs include RSVP, Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions and an Executive Service Corp-pro bono consulting group.
“For more than a half-century, Impact Broward has lived up to its name and improved the quality of life for tens of thousands of residents but we need to learn more to create a community where everyone thrives as they age,” said SoFIA President and CEO Peter Kaldes, Esq. “Sofia is the Greek word for wisdom. Our new structure will leverage the wisdom of older adults and other supporters to allow us to add research capabilities, inform public policy and initiate evidence-based programming to enable us to address the enormous impact an aging population will create on housing, transportation systems and the entire economy.”
SoFIA will be structured as a “think and act tank” to tackle tough social and economic issues. The SoFIA think tank will launch research to improve policy and recommend programming. Based on the think tank’s solutions, SoFIA’s act tank will deliver forward looking programming tailored to meet the needs of the region and serve as a model for the nation.
SoFIA has already received support for its new mission with two inaugural think and act projects.
In collaboration with the William “Bill” Kling Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic and Nova Southeastern University, SoFIA’s first think project will be examining technology adoption amongst older veterans. Building on the long-standing partnership between SoFIA and the VA Clinic, in which SoFIA volunteers assist veterans to use the VA’s online medical portal, the new collaborative effort will assess and develop best practices and programs that could be deployed to increase technology adoption among all older adults.
The first act project is also focused on helping seniors gain economic independence through digital literacy. SoFIA will be the exclusive South Florida provider of the award-winning technology training program for seniors called “Senior Planet,” that ranges from basic email and web browsing to online financial literacy and workforce skills. The local introduction of the national program designed by Older Adults Technology Services of New York is provided through a grant from The Jim Moran Foundation with additional support from Citrix.
“It’s a digital world where technology changes every day and it is vitally important that people remain connected to the world, empowered to handle their affairs and able to enjoy social engagement through technology as they age,” said Jo Moskowitz, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citrix Systems where some of the Senior Planet training programs will take place. “We are pleased to support SoFIA and its implementation of Senior Planet programs.”
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Published: February 20, 2018