Tech training for seniors available
Becoming tech savvy and learning how to access important online resources can all be found in one location for Niagara seniors.
From basic training that includes setting up devices like laptops or tablets, to becoming familiar with video calling apps like Zoom, as well as webinars and programs that assist with community, government and medical services, Cyber-Seniors has it available on its website.
The organization has a specific webpage for residents in Niagara to get assistance and access the information they need.
Cyber-Seniors initially began by setting seniors up with a mentor to help train them on how to use tech devices. That service is still available, albeit with COVID-19 it’s happening over the phone and on Zoom.
As the organization has grown so have its services.
Nancy Siciliana, Cyber-Seniors program manager in Niagara, said the organization has had to evolve its programming so that it can include different types of training for groups with different needs.
Recently, it launched a Niagara Prosperity Initiative funded program called Cyber-Seniors: Building Self-Reliance. The program aims to provide low income seniors with access to technology and Wi-Fi within their place of residence. It also helps teach them how to acquire information, resources and social supports.
Included through this program are webinars for online activities to assist with mental and physical health, such as laughter yoga and other “exercise as medicine” workouts. Cyber-Seniors has also connected with local Niagara museums to share their collections and exhibits, while also guiding people on how to access online activities and programming from the museums. There is also financial literacy programming.
Some health-care webinars available are partnered through Empower Health, Iamsick.ca, myflushot.ca, Niagara College Dental Clinic and Telehealth Apps such as Medeo and WellX.
“Our whole purpose with the webinars is to make these services and resources available to seniors so that they can access them online because that’s where many (service) application forms are,” Siciliana. “If you don’t have the digital skills, you’re going to have a difficult time finding those resources, and it might even be more expensive and out of reach as well.”
There are also tech skill webinars, including one every Thursday at 2 p.m. for seniors with new laptops or tablets, looking to learn how to use them.
In partnership with InCommunities.ca in Niagara, Cyber-Seniors has also launched TechConnect, which allows seniors to resume their volunteering activities that were halted by COVID-19 by using their computer. The program is available through registration until Feb. 28, and will provide details on how and where to volunteer and increasing digital skills.
If you are a senior interested in the Cyber-Seniors program but don’t have a device, the organization also helps provide laptops and tablets.
“This is a way to make those resources imminently reachable, usable and help seniors improve the quality of their life,” Siciliana said.
All webinars, online activities and training opportunities are open to all Niagara seniors.