There’s No Age Limit on Staying Connected

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By Julia Tolstrup

Technology is a treacherous beauty. While it has made life more convenient for many, for some the digitization of daily life is nothing more than a constantly evolving hurdle to be overcome. Seniors are among those for whom technology can sometimes be an obstacle. Although most tech is intended to make life easier, if you aren’t sure how to use the tech in the first place or simply don’t have access, there is little benefit.

For grown adults with elderly parents, taking care of their needs while keeping them caught up with 21st century innovations can be a challenge. These technological resources, though, can help make the learning curve less daunting for everyone.

New Haven Public Library

Computer instruction with Bella Vista seniors. #fairhavenbranch #nhfpl #gscia

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If going online to learn about going online doesn’t strike your fancy, check out the technology center at the New Haven Public Library. The Library offers a roster of classes in basic computer software as well as knowledgeable staff in the Tech Answer Room to help guests polish up their tech savviness. While you’re there, browse the library’s collection of books on the subject to take the learning home with you.

GoGo Grandparent

Transportation can often be one of the toughest issues for seniors. The need to get to medical appointments, social engagements or simply to the grocery store and back can pose some very real obstacles. Enter: GoGo Grandparent.

While mobile app services like Uber and Lyft have transformed transportation for many, seniors often do not have the mobile technology necessary to benefit from these services. GoGo Grandparent offers a toll-free phone number where seniors can connect with local, affordable and safe transportation. The website offers easy-to-understand instructions so that seniors can access the toll-free menu and be on their way in 15 minutes or less.

Great Call

Having access to a mobile phone provides more than convenience—it can be a real security boost as well. For seniors, a sophisticated smartphone may be out of reach, but Great Call offers a line of phones designed just for seniors. These stripped down versions come with all the necessary applications for basic mobile service but leave out the confusing extras.

Great Call designs phones with large screens and easy to read apps and buttons. Great Call’s most popular phone, the Jitterbug, comes as either a flip phone or a smartphone and all phones come with one of the most reliable networks available.

Internet Essentials

The first step toward digital literacy at any age is having access to the internet. Seniors are far less likely to have internet in their home than other populations. Comcast wants to help get seniors connected with their Internet Essentials program. Eligible seniors in Connecticut’s Hartford area can receive internet, in-home WiFi and computer classes for only $9.95 per month. Internet Essentials is a great way for seniors to stay connected to loved ones and to keep up in an ever-evolving digital world.

Digital Learn

Because the digital age moves at light speed, there is a constant need for education. Digital Learn offers free lessons on everything from computer basics to web navigation. The easy format allows anyone to click on the course they’d like to take and get started in seconds. Digital Learn covers all the bases including the importance of password security and how to recognize an internet scam, something seniors fall victim to all too often. If you or someone in your life needs some extra help when it comes to digital literacy, Digital Learn is a fantastic, free resource.

Just because technology moves ahead quickly doesn’t mean anyone needs to be left behind. With these tools, you’re well-equipped to help make life easier for the older folks in your life or help them learn new skills of their own.

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