Unlike the young ones, seniors are not much updated when it comes to technology issues. However, they are part and parcel of the modern-day technological world. For them to remain up to date with the current happenings, they need to have a laptop. Apart from this, a laptop can enable them to remain connected with their loved ones via zoom meetings. In fact, a laptop allows them to access social media platforms such as the messenger, Skype, Google Meet, among other platforms. A laptop also plays an instrumental role in keeping seniors more entertained in their homes. Here, they will be able to watch and even participate in online-related programs from time to time.
Apart from the benefits we have mentioned above, a laptop can enable a senior to learn new concepts and ideas from the internet. With all the advantages that we have mentioned above, most seniors would like to know how they can get a free laptop and be able to save more bucks. Luckily, there are a couple of ways through which seniors can get a free laptop. Do you want a free laptop for your grandparents or any other senior? This article is for you. Herein, we shall discuss all that you need to know about free laptops for seniors. This includes the process of getting a free laptop for seniors, the requirements one needs to meet, and the application process, among other related ideas.
Private and Government Programs that Offer Free Laptop for Seniors
If you want to get a free laptop for seniors, there are many ways that can help you get started. One of the most legit ways to get free laptops for seniors is through government programs and non-profit organizations. Here are programs that offer free laptops for seniors.
Affordable connectivity program
This one is the most reliable way to get a free laptop for seniors. Widely known as ACP, this program is funded by the federal government to offer discounts of internet services and connectivity devices like laptops. To work effectively, ACP works together with a number of carriers that offer free laptops and other devices. Thankfully, there are many carriers that now participate in this program and are offering seniors free or discounted tablets.
Please note that to get a free laptop from these providers, you should meet a number of requirements. For instance, you should not have an income above 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in government assistance program such as Medicaid, SSI, SNAP, Section 8 or WIC among others that we have discussed below in this guide.
Once you qualify for the ACP facility, you will only be required to contribute at least $10 and not more than $50 towards the purchase of your preferred laptop. The ACP provider on the other end will offer a one-time discount of up to $100 so that you can purchase your laptop of choice more affordably from your carrier. Some of these carriers are: Access wireless, AirTalk wireless, cintex wireless, easy wireless, standup wireless and so on.
Through non-profit organizations
Besides applying for a free laptop for seniors from government, you can get a free model from charity and non-profit organizations. To get a free laptop from these organizations however, you should prove to them that you are needy and in urgent need of a laptop.
Please remember to choose an organization that operates within your locality so that you can maximize your chances of getting a free laptop. If you meet the eligibility requirements of your preferred private organization, you will be good to go.
Some of the non-profit organizations that offer free laptops to seniors include:
- Microsoft Registered Refurbishers
- Smart Riverside
- World computer exchange
- The Freecycle network
- Everyone on
- Adaptive.org the on it foundation.
NB: you can also visit your nearest community senior center, local church, your local library or check out the community programs within your locality and ask for help in acquiring a free laptop for seniors
Applying Guideline for Getting a Free Laptop for Senior
By now, you are aware that you can apply for a free laptop for senior via the ACP facility. However, for you to be get a free laptop for seniors via this program, there are certain requirements that you must meet. These are:
You should be a low-income household
First and foremost, you need to ensure that your income stands at or is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Depending on your residential state, check its FPG and then establish if you meet the much-needed requirement or not.
You should participate in government programs
In case you do not qualify under the low income criteria, be certain that you can now get a free laptop for seniors if you are a beneficiary of a government assistance program. Some of these programs include:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance Program
- Supplemental Security Income
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
- Veterans Survivor and Pensions benefit program.
- You are a beneficiary of the Free and Reduced-Price School Breakfast Program or School Lunch Program, including at the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision schools.
- You received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
- Bureau of Indian Affairs(BIA) General Assistance program
- Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(Tribal TANF)
- Tribal Head Start(Only those individuals or households that meet the much-needed income-qualifying standards are eligible)
If you meet any of the above-mentioned requirements, you now go ahead and apply for the ACP facility then receive your free laptop. However, you will be required to submit eligibility documents and personal documents so as to prove your eligibility status and identity respectively.
Documents Needed When Applying Free Laptop for Seniors
When it comes to personal documents, there is a need for you to submit a document that has your name in full, date of birth, place of residence, among other finer details. When making your application, consider submitting copies of the official documents and not originals. Here are some of the personal documents that you should submit during the application process:
- Your birth certificate
- Your passport
- Your government-issued state, military or Tribal ID
- Your permanent resident card or Green Card
- Your U.S Driver’s license
- Your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number(ITIN) document
- Your utility bill
- Your tax or W-2 return
- Your lease or mortgage statement
Apart from the personal documents mentioned above, you should submit an official document that shows that you either earn a low income or are a beneficiary of a government assistance program. These are documents like:
- Your paycheck stub
- Your prior year’s federal, state or Tribal tax return
- Your divorce decree
- Your child support award
- Your unemployment or Worker’s compensation statement of benefits
- Your pension or retirement statement of benefits
- Your Veterans Administration statement of benefits
- A copy of your current income statement from your employer
- A copy of your Medicaid approval letter
- Supplemental Security Income benefit award letter
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations statement of benefits
- SNAP benefit verification letter
Now Steps to Apply for Free Laptop for Seniors
With the above-mentioned documents at hand, you can now go ahead and apply for a free laptop for seniors seamlessly. When applying for this laptop, trust that you can readily get started via three main ways. These include:
Apply via the online
If you choose to apply for a free laptop for seniors via the online method, here are the steps that you should follow:
- Visit “https://nv.fcc.gov/lifeline/?id=nv_flow&ebbp=true” and then log in with your details. In case you do not have an account, consider creating one and then start making your application.
- When filling in the online application form, ensure that you key in the correct details and then attach copies of your personal and eligible documents so that your application can be approved.
- Check and ensure that everything is right before submitting your application.
- If everything is right, submit the application right away.
Apply via mail
Besides the online method, you can consider applying for a free laptop for senior via mail. Unlike the previous method, this one requires you to deal with hard copies. Here are the steps that can help you get started:
- Visit “https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/ACP-Application-Form-English.pdf” and then download the English version of the ACP application form.
- Print he form and fill it manually
- It’s also important to download and print a household worksheet through this link: “https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/wp-content/uploads/lifeline/images/ACP-Household-Worksheet-English.pdf”
- With these two documents at hand, make sure that you fill them with the correct details.
- Once you are done filling the forms, you should attach copies of your personal, residential and eligibility documents as described above the mail the form to this address:
ACP Support Center.
PO Box 7081
London, KY 40742.
Apply Through your service provider
As aforementioned, there are many carriers that work together with the government’s ACP program to offer free laptops for every qualified applicants, including the seniors. You should choose your preferred service provider depending with your state of residence. This is because different carriers have different benefits and eligibility requirements, based on your state of residence
After selecting your service provider, you should now visit their official website and start your application. When applying for the ACP program, you will be prompted to key in your ZIP code and then you will be redirected to a page where you will start the actual application process. Key in your details as required and then attach copies of your personal and eligibility documents to the application form. Check and ensure that everything is correct and then submit your application form.
The carrier’s team on the other hand will review your application and in case you met its eligibility requirements, you will be able to get a one-time discount to purchase your laptop of choice. Note that: some of these providers will give you a free laptop directly while others will send you to an authorized laptop dealer that offers free laptops on behalf of the government. Some of the providers that offer free laptops are PCS for people and Human-I-T.
Ways to Make Senior People Get the Maximum Benefits From their Laptop
Getting a free laptop is one thing. However, getting the most out of it is another issue altogether. If you have obtained a free laptop for your senior back at home, here are some of the ideas that can help him or her get the maximum benefits from the laptop:
- Since the senior might not be used to a laptop, there is a need for you to orient him or her how to start using it. From powering it on to accessing the internet using a laptop, there are many facets that you should familiarize your senior with. As you do this, be patient with them as they might take some time before they learn all those areas. After all, they are aged and might ask an avalanche of questions before they understand simple tasks.
- Let the senior know that he or she can now do a number of tasks with a laptop. Whether it is researching online health programs or just having a zoom meeting with his or her loved ones, there are many tasks that you should acquaint your senior with. In addition, you can show seniors how to read articles and other relevant sources online to get updated. To make this possible, ensure that you schedule daily tasks for them and then let them use a laptop in order to complete them.
- Adjust the text size and the color contrast on the laptop so that the senior can see everything clearly. If possible, ensure that the laptop has the correct brightness levels so that your senior can have an easy time using the laptop.
- Explain the various benefits that one can reap by using a laptop to perform various tasks at home. For instance, you can let the senior know that he or she can now read online health magazines using the laptop and learn various health tips that can make him or her live longer.
- Teach the senior about security concerns so that his or her computer’s data remains safe all the time. Here, you can let the senior know how to set up passwords that he can remember for ages. If the senior might have issues recalling passwords, consider downloading a password manager for them so that they do not have to recall passwords once they log into certain websites. Besides this measure, install an anti-virus on the free laptop so that no malicious software finds its way to the laptop.
- Warn the senior against accepting fishy connection requests from anyone they hardly know on social media platforms such as Facebook. In addition, let the senior know that it is right to send personal information via text, email or even chat. Suppose the senior comes across a suspicious link, he should not click it whatsoever.
- Declutter the laptop so that the senior can have an easy time access web browsers such as Google Chrome. You can even place this application on the desktop interface so that your senior can have an easy time accessing it.
Types of Free Laptops Senior May Get
Some of the best laptop models that you should get for your senior back at home include:
- Acer Spin 3
- Samsung Galaxy Chrome book
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 5
- Dell XPS 12 2-in-1 Laptop
- Asus Chrome book Flip CM3
- Lenovo Yoga 6 2-in-1 Laptop
Factors to Consider When Getting Free Laptops for Senior Citizens
When getting a free laptop for senior citizens, there are certain considerations that you should make. Some of these considerations include:
- Your laptop of choice should come with a full-sized keyboard and a touchscreen feature. Such features are ideal for those seniors who might be suffering from hand pain or arthritis.
- The laptop should also come with a voice-to-text typing assistance feature. With this feature in place, you can trust that those seniors grappling with hand typing will no longer get inconvenienced again.
- The model should come with ample ROM to enable the senior store certain videos and photos once in a while. These media files are very essential when it comes to memory creation. In addition, it should have a RAM of 4GB or thereabout. If your model has a RAM of 4GB, it will hardly hang anytime you multitask. Given that seniors might not have much to do with their laptops, that RAM is enough.
- The laptop should come with a long lasting battery. With this battery in place, the senior will no longer have to charge the laptop every now and then. In addition, the senior will still be able to use the laptop even when there is a blackout in his or her home.
- The model should be easy to use. For instance, if the senior was used to Apple devices, consider looking for a model that uses the iOS system. However, if the senior was used to Windows platform, consider getting one that uses the same platform. This way, the senior will not experience problem transitioning from one operating system to another.
- The laptop should be lightweight so that your senior can have an easy time carry it from one location to another. This feature is more important to those suffering from arthritis. Therefore, you can check the weight of your desired laptop on its packaging or in the product description online and then make an informed decision.
- Your preferred model should come with high quality built-in speakers. These speakers will enable the senior hear sounds more clearly whenever he is watching online health related videos and so much more.
- It should also come with Bluetooth capabilities. This way, the senior can synchronize his or her hearing aids to the laptop via the Bluetooth feature.
- The laptop should come with a larger screen so that the senior can see everything on a larger interface.
- Ensure that the model comes with accessibility settings such as screen readers, on-screen keyboard options and color settings.
Ensure Digital Inclusion for Senior Citizens
Simply put, digital divide exists when there is a gap between those people who can access modern information and communication technology and those who cannot afford it at all. When then gap is wider, the higher the chances of its impacts on the affected individuals. Thankfully, the Federal government is now try to bridge the digital divide among the American seniors so that everyone remains connected.
If the digital divide problem is not addressed in good time, it can have serious implications on seniors. Some of these implications include:
- Low life expectancy
- Poor health
- Lack of access to basic information
Role of a free laptop in bridging the digital divide
With a free laptop at hand, you can trust that the problem of digital divide will be a thing of the past. Here are the various roles a free laptop plays in order to bridge the digital divide:
- The laptop will enable the senior to know the current happenings in his or her country
- With the laptop in place, the senior will be able to research on various health-related issues and learn a lesson or two.
- The laptop will play a vital role in enabling the senior remain connected with his or her loved ones.
- The laptop will keep the senior entertained as he or she can read magazines online, watch online content, surf the internet and so much more.
Importance of access to technology for seniors to remain connected and engaged with the current world
With increased access to technology, seniors can now enjoy the following benefits:
- Loneliness is a thing of the past as they can now keep in touch with their loved ones.
- It has enabled them to access emergency healthcare services in the time of need.
- Since some seniors are able to play brain games online, they are able to remain mentally sharp.
- It allows the seniors to remain informed about the current happenings in their country or state
- It allows them to enjoy more convenience as they can now order items online from the comfort of their homes. This means that the senior does not have to walk to a brick and mortar shop in order to purchase a commodity.