As mobile internet devices become indispensable for staying connected and informed, senior citizens are easily left behind.
Elder care organisation Age Concern has seniors’ technology classes covered as part of its range of initiatives to safeguard the ageing population
‘‘Managing Apps’’ was session 4 of the ‘‘Silvertec’’ guide to smartphones, presented by Kristen Beardsmore at the Balclutha Public Library last Tuesday.
‘‘Applications allow us to do things, but you don’t need them all,’’ Mrs Beardsmore said to a group of retirees eager to make the most of their electronic investments.
‘‘It’s important to learn how to download, move and delete apps on your phone and what differences you’ll get between free and paid subscription services.’’
Group members listed services they would consider useful and soon found there were apps for everything they could think of, from keeping in touch to organising photos, shopping and banking and paying bills.
Participants learned it all began with the Android or Apple ‘‘app store’’ icon and the ‘‘magnifying-glass’’ search bar to get a weather forecast homescreen or one of scores of listen-in music and audio apps.
Growing older can often be a solitary experience so to seniors as much as anybody, mobile internet devices offer countless opportunities to enhance the quality of life.
Mobile health apps help people track their diet, exercise and medication routines, fostering a healthier lifestyle, while communication, entertainment and hobby platforms not only enable favourite pastimes but connect like-minded people.
By embracing the technology at their fingertips, seniors can improve their lives through enhanced social connections and access to critical information.
‘‘We’re always happy to see Age Concern’s programmes here,’’ Balclutha Public Library manager Debbie Duncan said.
‘‘It fits our model of lifetime learning.’’
Age Concern’s initiatives to coach seniors to fully participate in today’s digitally interconnected world — along with the support of families and communities— is likely to increase as New Zealand’s population ages, particularly in rural towns.