SCUGOG: The Port Perry Senior’s Club is hosting computer coaching classes for any members of the club wanting to learn how to use new technology and connect with distant family/friends.
The group is volunteer run, and to join, members must be in the senior’s club, which costs $15 for a year membership. The membership also gives members access to a variety of other activities, including art classes, shuffleboard, line dancing, the card/board games club, and exercise classes.
The group has been successful, getting many seniors fluent with smart phones, tablets, and computers, according to Catherine Whittle, First President of the Port Perry Seniors Club.
“It’s something new, that not a lot of seniors have grown up with, many of this centre retired before they started introducing technology into offices,” she said.
Due to a lack of knowledge about technology a lot of seniors were unable to connect with their distant friends or relatives until attending the classes.
“We had people coming in after Christmas with phones saying, 'I just got this for Christmas how do I turn it on?'” Mrs. Whittle said.
She shared that many seniors want to be able to connect with their families online but don’t have the computer skills to do so.
“Seniors want to be able to talk to their children and grandchildren, and the way there doing that nowadays is through smart phones, tablets and iPhones,” she said.
Through the program, dozens of seniors have created Facebook accounts and are connecting with their families, according to Mrs. Whittle.
“We’ve got some 91 and 95 year olds who actually have smart phones, and Facebook with their grandchildren and great grandchildren,” she said.
The club is made up entirely of volunteers and has seniors teaching the classes.
“The premise of the group is to get seniors mentoring seniors, on how to use technology,” Mrs. Whittle said. “This whole project is for better connected seniors and intergenerational communications.”
The classes came after the Port Perry Seniors Club received a technology grant, through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The grant allowed them to purchase two desktop computers, a laptop, two android tablets, two iPads, desks, and a meeting table, to use at the Latcham Centre. The club was also able to repaint and replace the flooring in the centre, with the money from the grant.
Anyone interested in the computer coaching classes is asked to contact the Port Perry Seniors Club and fill out an application form. To join the club members must be 50 years of age or older.