Frequently Asked Questions
How does Connect2Affect Connected Communities work? How much does it cost?
Good questions! Find the answers below, plus other commonly asked questions from Affordable Housing Organizations.
- What is Connect2Affect Connected Communities?
- How does it work?
- What does it cost?
- Who is eligible for the program?
- How long does take to launch the program?
- What staff resources are needed?
- What ongoing support do you offer after the initial setup?
- What kind of internet access is needed?
- Which devices does it work with?
- How do I get a replacement device when a resident vacates a unit?
- How can I help my aging residents feel comfortable using this new technology?
- How can I protect our residents’ privacy?
- Who do I contact to bring this program to my properties?
Not finding what you’re looking for? Contact one of our experts.
What is Connect2Affect Connected Communities?
AARP Foundation Connect2Affect Connected Communities™ provides affordable voice-activated technology, bundled with a community management platform that empowers resident service coordinators to help your residents live happier, healthier and more connected lives. The easy-to-use platform allows you to be in dozens of places at the same time — virtually. Already in use at some of the largest multi-site properties nationwide, Connected Communities equips housing staff and residence service coordinators with tools that:
- Help residents build confidence, connections and community with family, friends, and neighbors
- Boost resident engagement and participation in group activities.
- Increase senior resident independence and ability to age in place.
- Introduce technology to seniors in a fun, easy, low-cost way.
How does it work?
Voice-activated devices respond to commands from your residents in the comfort of their own rooms. Your staff manages centralized community information through an easy-to-use web interface. With a friendly voice that’s ready to help, Connected Communities shares your community’s news and information 24/7, such as what’s on the menu tonight, if the mail is in yet, and what events are happening this week.
In addition, residents can use native device features like playing their favorite songs and setting reminders to take medication and ensure they stay healthy.
What does it cost?
To participate in the program, your organization makes a one time investment to purchase the devices and for training. Then, there is an annual license fee of $25 per device, which includes ongoing support from AARP Foundation for your staff. There is no cost to your residents to participate.
Who is eligible for the program?
Connected Communities is available to housing providers that offer subsidized housing to low-income seniors. There is no AARP membership requirement for your residents to participate. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike.
How long does it take to launch the program?
Typically, you can be up and running in as little as three months, and AARP Foundation will work with you every step of the way. We’ll provide program implementation guidance and onsite training to you and your residents to ensure that voice-activated technology is fully adopted and used across your resident community.
What staff resources are needed?
You’ll appoint a staff member to oversee the program, likely your existing Resident Service Coordinator. The RSC will be responsible for recruiting participants from your community, scheduling the rollout, and keeping your community calendar updated.
What ongoing support do you offer after the initial setup?
In addition to our web-based community management platform, your staff will have access to AARP Foundation email and telephone support.
What kind of internet access is needed?
A strong wireless signal is needed in each resident’s dwelling. If you experience weak Wi-Fi at your property or don’t have connectivity throughout, we can help identify low-cost third-party internet service providers to get your building sufficiently connected.
Which devices does it work with?
Connected Communities is available for Amazon Echo — with its virtual assistant, Alexa — or the smaller-sized Amazon Echo Dot. It also works on any device that supports Google Assistant, such as Google Home or Google Home Mini.
How do I get a replacement device when a resident vacates a unit?
After your organization has launched Connected Communities at your property, it’s quick and easy to obtain additional devices as you need them. You’ll also have ongoing access to training materials to help get your new residents up to speed.
How can I help my aging residents feel comfortable using this new technology?
Our hands-on, interactive training curriculum creates a fun, safe environment for older adults to learn the technology judgment-free. We have developed a comprehensive training for staff and residents to fully prepare your communities and make implementation as seamless as possible.
How can I protect our residents’ privacy?
We understand that privacy concerns are top of mind for residents and organizations, and we believe that full transparency with residents is best when it comes to privacy concerns. As part of our curriculum, we educate residents about privacy considerations related to the devices and show them how to adjust their personal privacy settings to their comfort level.
The Connected Communities team can share the best practices for providing devices to your residents.
Who do I contact to bring this program to my properties?
Connected Communities gives every resident the information they’re looking for — day or night — and that frees up your time. Contact us to learn how easy it is to connect your community.