OATS From AARP Opens Senior Planet Miami
National nonprofit, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) from AARP opens a new Senior Planet center for older adults ages 50-plus in the vibrant, cultural neighborhood of Wynwood, Miami. As the area’s first technology-themed community center for older adults, visitors can get help with technology and learn new skills in a spacious, modern center packed with 72 screens, featuring state-of-the-art computer equipment and Wi-Fi – all free of charge.
OATS Executive Director Tom Kamber joins Mayor Francis Suarez for the ribbon-cutting ceremony held on November 30th, showcasing the city’s support for the new Senior Planet Miami. The new Senior Planet center will serve as a community hub for the 50-plus population, with an emphasis on technology training in an enriching social setting.
Starting in January, multilingual classes will be offered weekly in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole focusing on technology, health, finance, community, and the arts. Some of the most popular classes include All Things Zoom, Computer Essentials, Cloud Storage, and Smartphones at a Glance. The new center also offers one-on-one technology training and tech discussion groups. Registration for classes is now open.
“We have been working for years to bring Senior Planet to Miami and are thrilled to be launching a center in Wynwood, where technology, innovation, and diversity are celebrated,” said OATS Executive Director Tom Kamber. “The center will serve older adults from across the region, free-of-charge, regardless of income or demographic, and we will also be working closely with partner organizations to support local programming across the county and beyond.”
“As the world continues to experience rapid advancements in technology, it's vital to ensure accessible spaces for older Americans to stay informed and connected," noted AARP's Kristin Dillon, Senior Vice President for State and Community Engagement. "AARP research reveals that 75% of those age 50 and above rely on technology for staying connected. In Wynwood, with over 35% of the population falling into this age group, the Senior Planet center promises to be a vibrant social and educational hub."
Beyond weekly classes, the Senior Planet center in Miami strives to provide an enjoyable community environment with a space designed around multiple communal areas, including a coffee bar, to encourage socializing and collaborative learning. At 4,300 square feet, the space was previously an art gallery. The center’s design by Wid Chapman Architects reflects a departure from traditional senior centers, aligning more with the concept of a co-working space, that allows for group lectures, technology demonstrations, fitness classes, and more. On the exterior of the building, OATS collaborated with local muralist Rage Johnson to pay homage to the area’s connection to the arts.
"In conceptualizing Senior Planet, we wanted to create spaces that were inclusive, inviting, engaging, and dynamic. Each area can be utilized for multiple purposes, fostering both community and individuality. As the first senior center our firm designed in Miami, we aimed to craft a well-designed building that reflects the culture, emotions, and architecture of Miami. Through curved shapes, natural light, and colorful interiors, the Senior Planet in Wynwood makes people feel at ease and inspired," said Wid Chapman Architects Founder Wid Chapman.
Registration is now open for classes starting in January. Open Monday - Friday from 9:00am - 5:00pm, the center is located at 317 Northwest 28th Street, Miami, FL, 33127 and easily accessible through various routes of public transportation, including the Brightline, to welcome older visitors from all over South Florida.
Senior Planet is the flagship program of OATS, a charitable affiliate of AARP. Senior Planet is committed to providing a wide range of free, community-based classes to demystify traditionally inaccessible topics for older adults. The program, currently serving five additional locations across the country, is built on the principles of community learning and social connection for the older adult population.
To learn more, visit www.oats.org or follow @OlderAdultsTech on social media.