Seniors looking for young minds to help with new technology
By Jenn Watt
Published Sept. 26, 2017
CARP is looking for young people to sign up for their newest initiative, Cyber Seniors, to help older community members learn new technology.
The Haliburton chapter of the organization recently secured funding for the initiative, which helps seniors learn how to use Facebook, FaceTime, Amazon.ca, Skype and YouTube.
CARP member Jon Dannewald is co-ordinating the initiative and said there is a long list of interested seniors, but so far, only one young person is signed up to teach.
Cyber Seniors presents an opportunity for teenagers and young adults to meet seniors in the community, learn teaching skills, gain volunteer hours, and enhance their resumes.
“I understand the frustration that the seniors are having with the technology and think they should learn more. And everyone wants to, but they’re intimidated by the classroom, not comfortable in their own home, too shy to ask questions,” Dannewald said.
With this program, a young person would be transported by a CARP volunteer to the senior’s home. The session would last one hour and would be supervised.
“We’re going to drive them and supervise them. That’s to provide a safe environment for them,” he said.
There will be some orientation ahead of time, however, Dannewald said he thinks most of the learning will take place during the sessions. The seniors can direct the young people on what they need to know, what is working for them, etc.
Local chapter president Bob Stinson said he commonly hears from other seniors that they’d like help with social media and new technology.
“This is just something we’ve been aware of for years. It’s hard for seniors to deal with a lot of these new things,” he said. The gap between generations seems to be widening because of technology, with a whole group of people who don’t yet understand how to use powerful new tools such as Kindle, YouTube and Skype.
The possibilities of messaging grandkids or FaceTiming friends in the city are largely missed on this generation unless there is someone willing to help.
Dannewald wants to get Cyber Seniors up and running soon and would like to hear from any young person (teenagers and older) who would like to volunteer to help. His phone number is 705-754-2540.