Seniors swap stories for online savvy

MYVISTA resident Ginevra Orsi with daughter Jeanette Brunini, volunteer Dee Hyde, Office of Multicultural Interests grant officer Sarah Vagliviello and Balcatta MLA David Michael.
MYVISTA resident Ginevra Orsi with daughter Jeanette Brunini, volunteer Dee Hyde, Office of Multicultural Interests grant officer Sarah Vagliviello and Balcatta MLA David Michael.

UNIVERSITY volunteers have helped record the life stories of Balcatta aged care residents.

Ten volunteers from UWA’s recently established Social Care and Social Ageing Living Lab were matched with residents from MYVISTA Aged Care for the 10-week project funded by the Office of Multicultural Interests.

Residents, who are from mainly southern European countries, shared stories from their lives that were made into booklets.

In return, the volunteers taught them online skills, including how to use email, social media, games and other digital applications.

MYVISTA project officer Belinda Herring said residents’ initial concerns about technology were soon forgotten.

“As the project progressed, it was wonderful to see the residents and volunteers forming firm friendships,” she said.

“Some of the volunteers will continue to visit the residents after the end of the project.

“The completed life story booklets presented will be cherished by the residents and their families and will also be used by MYVISTA staff to gain a deeper understanding and awareness of our residents.”

UWA Professor Loretta Baldassar facilitated the project and said it helped older people, particularly migrants, realise the benefits of digital literacy and allowed them avoid isolation and social exclusion.

“This project was developed with the aim of addressing these issues,” she said.

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