WITH an increasing amount of news, information and other services being made available online, a new federal initiative is ensuring our elderly are not left in a digital black hole.
The Be Connected program launched at Braemar Presbyterian Care’s aged care facilities this week, thanks to a government grant, aims to give seniors confidence with technology and keep them up to date with news.
Resident will trial iPads to check the weather, watch clips on YouTube, FaceTime family and friends and keep up to date with the news online.
Braemar chief executive Wayne Belcher said the initiative offered seniors a way to learn and stay socially connected.
“We are in the age of the internet and it can be disempowering for older people in the community when they don’t know how to use new technologies,” he said.
“My first witness of online banking was from visiting residents in a nursing home in the Netherlands in 2006.
“Technology has come a long way since then but we should never think that our elders are beyond grasping even the newest of technologies.
“We are pleased to be able to offer education sessions to our residents as both a learning tool and also a valuable social outlet.
“Social connectedness and maintaining relationships is an important part of the human experience.”
He said while face-to-face contact could not be fully replaced, digital tools – including iPads – allowed residents to connect with family and friends on the other side of the globe, “something they were unable to easily do in the past”.