Many baby boomers aging into Medicare are well-acquainted with technology, but older seniors may not have had access to the same innovation and tools in the workplace. Older adults who may have retired years ago might have relied on manual processes and have not been introduced to the different devices used in today’s business world. Innovation and technology has transformed the way we communicate, accomplish tasks at work and at home, and manage our finances. While many of us take technology for granted, some seniors may feel left behind.
Seniors’ technology training can give older adults, especially ones with limited mobility, access to people and places that may not be within physical reach. Older adults can benefit from innovative tools that help manage physical and mental fitness, safety and security, combat isolation and loneliness, and communicate with friends and loved ones, but the idea of learning about these programs can seem daunting. Seniors may assume that learning how to use technology can be frustrating and stressful, but with the help of free computer training programs, they may be surprised to find their education easy and fun. keep the ball rolling than to start from a passive position.
Some seniors may have tech-savvy family members who can help them get started with some basic knowledge, but if you don’t have anyone close by or willing to teach you, there are other options. Thankfully, there are free technology classes for older adults that will get seniors up to speed. Start taking advantage of innovative tools that can change your life by learning what technology can do for you. Training should include applications and programs available on desktop, smartphone, and tablet platforms.
It’s easy to feel intimidated by learning something new, but it’s clear that technology has changed the way we function in our daily lives. From ordering groceries and products online, to playing games, managing bank accounts, and even adjusting the lights and temperature in your home at the click of a button, technology doesn’t just make your life easier – it can help you maintain your independence as you age.
It’s never too late to try something new – and when it comes to learning about technology, there are many ways to get started.
Where to Find Technology Classes for Older Adults
LOCAL COMMUNITY CENTER CLASSES
Your Area Agency on Aging (AAA) may be able to help you locate free technology computer training classes at a local community center, public library, senior center, or community college. Area Agencies on Aging include a network of over 600 organizations that coordinate a wide array of services to seniors at the community level and serve as the focal point for local aging concerns.
Technology classes facilitated by AAA are often geared toward seniors who want to learn how to use different devices, programs, and apps at different levels of experience. Contact your local AAA to find programs nearby.
AARP TEK WORKSHOPS
Free technology learning events hosted by AARP are offered in cities across the country to help seniors figure out how to use mobile devices and tablets or explore ways to seamlessly integrate digital processes into their lives. These hands-on, interactive sessions cater to both beginner and intermediate levels and attendees are welcome to bring up to five guests. There is no cost to these fun and informational events, and you may find them very enjoyable. If you prefer to learn at home, interactive educational videos are available online at no cost so you can squeeze in lessons when you can.
Whether you like to hold an old-school book with pages to turn or you are comfortable with e-books, there are many how-to books on the market tailored specifically for seniors who want to learn how to integrate technology into their daily lives. Instructional guides and books can be found on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and bookshelves at your local book shop or library.
If you have friends or neighbors who may be interested in learning, and you all enjoy a good read, consider asking them to join you in a “book club” of sorts. After reading the technology training book you choose, you can host a small get together at your home to try out some of the things you learned on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Free educational websites can be easy to use and allow you to learn at your own pace in your own home. While some require a one-time registration fee, such as SeniorNet.org or MyPCSchool.com, sites like TechBoomers.com offer free educational websites that teach basic computer skills and acquaint you with frequently used sites and apps.
The Importance of Technology Training for Seniors
Learning how to use technology can impact your life in ways you may not even realize yet. With access to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you can use applications and programs wherever you are most comfortable. Making the decision to learn computer skills or take a technology training class doesn’t have to take you out of your comfort zone. Find a free class locally or at home and explore ways that technology can improve your life in a stress-free and informative environment.