Keeping seniors savvy

Article image - Keeping seniors savvy Councillor Alison Jones shows off two of the library’s new mobile devices that will be used to increase the digital literacy of regional seniors.

Councils are recognising the importance of teaching their senior residents digital skills.

Following a successful pilot program last year, Campbelltown City Council’s Tech Savvy Seniors program are beginning again in early March.  

The program offers friendly, easy-to-follow training for older residents looking to learn basic computer skills, including how to use email and the internet, and enabling participants to keep in touch with friends and family online.

This year, the sessions will be available in English, Hindi and Mandarin.

Mayor of Campbelltown, Councillor Paul Hawker, said Council was pleased to help seniors embrace new technology.

“Information technology can open up all sorts of new possibilities and make life easier – from communicating with friends and family, to searching for information, managing finances and even shopping.

“Many seniors have embraced the new technology, but some still feel intimidated by the thought of using a computer or smart phone.

“We hope the workshops will give residents the confidence to make the most of the digital world by connecting with the people they care about, and pursuing hobbies and interests online.

“We want to help seniors to get connected, with the aim of reducing social isolation and increasing access to information and services.”
A similar program is hosted by Mackay Regional Council Libraries, with a focus on mobile devices.

The council recently purchased four iPads and four Tablets to be used in the program.

Community and Client Services portfolio councillor Alison Jones said this is an important addition.

“Classes for adults are already held at the region’s libraries and cover such things as using computers, digital cameras, photography and mobile phones, but this program really lets us focus on mobile internet technology.

“We will also cover important safety concerns like internet banking and cyber security.”

Cr Jones said Council intends to focus on rural areas in the municipality, and the tablets and iPads would allow classes to be taken on the road to visit residents not able to attend the larger libraries.

“I encourage anyone in our region, especially seniors, who wants to improve their technology skills to attend a free course, and give it a go,” Cr Jones said.

“We can’t wait to help those residents get online to pay bills and connect with their grandchildren on Facebook.”