Senior Matters: Helping seniors be savvy online
IN THIS fast-paced world, keeping up with changes in technology can be daunting.
No longer do we rely on communication by telephone or by letter.
Now we require information instantly using the internet, want instant responses to our text messages, view photos as soon as they are taken and write emails.
You only have to travel on public transport or look around you in a restaurant or shopping centre to see how much the modern Australian lifestyle relies on using technology.
Even government and non-government bodies are requiring that we get our bills, information and a host of other bits and pieces via email.
Some even go so far as to charge a fee to send a 'hard copy' through the post.
For many people, especially those considering retirement or who have retired, using a computer, iPad or tablet can be stressful and time-consuming - especially if you haven't had exposure to this technology in your occupation.
A group of forward-thinking Ipswich residents recognised the need to get seniors online for communication purposes and the organisation SeniorNet was born.
Training courses in computer operating skills for SeniorNet members started in May 1997.
Now SeniorNet offers training in basic computer skills, using email and the internet, Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and tablet skills.
They offer other computer courses in a range of topics covering Word processing, spreadsheets, basic tablet training and much more.
Initially people can receive four free basic computing lessons run in the Ipswich Humanities building.
These four sessions were an initiative of the Federal Government back in the 1990s.
Broadband For Seniors Kiosk co-ordinator Colleen Freeman said it was set up to help get residents aged 50 years and over online for communication purposes and to help keep them in touch with family and friends.
"It is important that seniors become computer literate as government agencies such as Centrelink are requiring people to log-on to their web site to maintain their own files," she said.
SeniorNet Ipswich president Ken Curwen said it was important seniors kept up with new technology and the organisation could help people do just that.
"All our instructors are people who have retired from the work force and have an interest in teaching technology and for some were involved in the industry before retiring," he said.
SeniorNet Ipswich is not just about computers though - outlined on the organisation's website are a range of social activities such as luncheons and trips to help people meet other people and have a good time.
In September they will be celebrating their 20th birthday with a luncheon for all members.
If you would like to enrol in one of their courses you will need to become a member.
Visit seniornet.com.au for all the information you need or call Chris Weston on 32940998 or Colleen Freeman on 3281 4414.