THE stereotype of the poor elderly grandparent struggling to use a computer may soon be a thing of the past.
In an era where almost everything is online, Ipswich seniors are taking the initiative to become tech-savvy.
Great-grandmother Vi Jorgensen purchased her first iPad a month ago and said she had not looked back.
The 79-year-old said her new tablet computer had opened up a world of possibilities, such as keeping in touch with her granddaughters through email.
The Ipswich Central resident said she also enjoyed using the device to read books and newspapers.
But like most seniors, Mrs Jorgensen's new digital skills did not come naturally - they required practice.
To help the elderly navigate their way through the digital world, a series of workshops is being run by SeniorNet.
The Ipswich-based organisation is operated by seniors, and exists to help fellow seniors learn to use new technologies such as the internet and computers.
To meet the growing trend of senior citizens wanting to use tablet computers, iPad and Android courses are now available.
SeniorNet management committee member Jenny Greaves conducts some of the workshops and said it was great to see so many seniors taking part.
"I was fortunate enough to have my son-in-law set up my iPad and teach me how to use it," she said.
"So I now have the opportunity to help teach others to get the most out of their computer tablets."
The Bundamba grandmother said it seemed many seniors received iPads and Androids as gifts, but were never properly told how to use them. And as a consequence, a lot don't even bother taking the device out of the box.
Workshops are held. at the University of Queensland, Ipswich Campus. For more information visit seniornet.com.au or phone Joan on 3282 7352.
iPad benefits for Seniors
- As eyesight fades, it becomes harder to see the printed page but computer tablets allow users to simply expand the type to a size that is easy for them to read.
- If a senior is comfortable with the internet, it's possible for them to easily keep in touch and read email from siblings, children and grandchildren.
- Friends and family can load in large photo albums of old photos or new ones that can be easily viewed by the user.