Feb. 16, 2007-According to the Administration on Aging, more than 5,000 people celebrate their 65th birthday every day. Of these people 65 and older, only 32 percent use the Internet. The percentage has increased in the past six years from 15 percent, but there is still a large gap separating the older seniors from the 50 to 64 age bracket, 71 percent of whom surf the Web (Pew Internet & American Life Project).
To help narrow this gap, the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah will offer free, one-on-one training for seniors in electronic communication, including email and blog writing. The training will take place Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the computer labs at the Marriot Library, rooms 1735 and 1745. The training is free to all people 65 years and older.
Commonly relegated to assisted living or nursing homes, seniors have minimal contact with family and friends. Even in their own homes they become isolated as the pace of communication increases. “By learning the ability to send email, seniors are able to be in contact with their families and friends,” explains Kris Howard, U of U student and volunteer organizer of the Seniors in Touch service project. “By learning to blog they are able to share the stories of their lives. These stories are the wisdom forthcoming generations need.”
Equipping seniors with the tools to communicate and independently navigate the Internet empowers them. By learning with hands-on training where they can get their questions answered, they are taking steps forward to remaining in touch with the world. “The point of this project is to add more love and communication to the world,” says Howard.
The Seniors in Touch service project is organized and sponsored by TinyBytes Computer instruction, Landmark Education, Syptec Internet Services and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Student volunteers from the U and KEY Club members from Skyline High School will assist with the training.
For more information about Seniors in Touch, contact Kris Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 801-694-2805.