DIGITAL LESSONS: Tanya Spethman and Carolyn Byrn will be involved in a new program to connect Ipswich seniors with technology.
DIGITAL LESSONS: Tanya Spethman and Carolyn Byrn will be involved in a new program to connect Ipswich seniors with technology. Contributed

Tech course to eliminate social isolation amongst seniors

HAVING not grown up with the internet, Carolyn Byrn is keen to learn more about the different ways she can connect with her loved ones online.

In a bid to expand her digital knowledge, and learn how to use different websites, the 73-year-old has signed up to be part of a new innovative technology program offered by Star Community Services.

By signing up for the Star Tech Program, Mrs Byrn will receive a tablet computer to use at home, as well as training and support through a number of small workshops, home visits and video calls.

"I know there is more to the internet than just emails," she said.

"I am looking forward to learning about video calls to connect with my family and friends.

"It will also be handy to learn how to research useful information online."

The program is open for residents aged 65 or over, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50.

Star Community Services general manager Patsy Wilshire said there were many benefits to a program like this.

"With the problem of social isolation amongst the elderly on the rise, using technology can be an effective measure to encourage them to build and maintain new social connections," she said.

"Star Tech is a timely initiative to ensure the elderly are not getting left behind in the digital world.

"The program will encourage seniors to become more confident users of digital technology at their own pace and in a way that supports their independence."

Volunteers are also needed to help run the course.

The program will run until June 2020. Program fees apply and numbers are limited. To apply or volunteer, phone 3821 6699.



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