Local seniors transformed into ‘Cyber Seniors’ with help from Garfield High School students

Medal.Group Health Cyber SeniorsGroup Health connects seniors with teens to become socially active online

Seniors from Aegis Living on Madison and the community officially became “Cyber Seniors” on Saturday, Dec. 19 thanks to the help of 10 teen mentors from Garfield Teen Life Center. After six, two-hour weekly sessions on Saturday mornings, the Cyber Seniors are more confident using a computer or tablet independently, or with minimal assistance, to engage with friends and family online. Each senior student was paired with a teen mentor who helped navigate through various functions such as email, Google searches, Skype, Facebook, and any other applications that were of interest to the seniors.

Cyber Seniors is a pilot program sponsored by Group Health and based off of the Canadian documentary “Cyber Seniors” www.cyberseniorsdocumentary.com. The program’s leaders adapted curriculum to both train the teens to become mentors and to help get more seniors comfortable with getting online and using the many tools the Internet offers to communicate and access important information, like scheduling medical appointments. The goal is to expand the program by working with assisted living facilities and high schools throughout Seattle.

“It was inspirational to see a bridge between the two generations,” said Marcelene Dorian-Richardson, health education specialist at Group Health. “Group Health is proud to support this program, which helps our aging friends and family members feel comfortable using the Internet. Using online tools and feeling comfortable using them is increasingly important as more and more health care information is available online.”

Both mentors and students felt a great sense of accomplishment by the end of the program.

For more information about the Cyber Seniors program, visit www.cyberseniorsdocumentary.com.





City of Seattle supports assistive technology lab, empowers older adults

IMG_2188Older adults with low vision reconnect with their independence in a new assistive technology learning lab funded by the City of Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund. Low vision caused by age-related eye diseases compromises the ability of older adults to continue activities of daily life, self-care, and even social interaction. One nonprofit, Sight Connection, enhances the ability of individuals with vision loss to lead active independent lives. The Technology Matching Fund provided Sight Connection with a wide selection of assistive technology devices for lab participants to experiment with for their personal goals. Over 440 low vision lab participants discovered assistive technology devices help them read, write, communicate and search online, and accomplish other tasks linked to independence. At age seventy and living with macular degeneration, Barbara Reedal found an electronic magnifier and an iPad could help her write cards to loved ones, send emails, and read paperwork to become a kitten foster mother. She claims, “Things started looking better as soon as I became aware of everything available. My next goal is to use a smart phone and I know I can try it at Sight Connection.” Through the Technology Matching Fund, older adults are living life with low vision on their terms and giving back to their community. Visit sightconnection.org to learn more about Sight Connection and the assistive technology learning lab.

Seniors Workshop

Are you a senior citizen on government assistance who does not have computer access at home? Here’s your chance to attend a free workshop, an “Introduction to the Internet For Seniors” about discounted broadband service and discounted refurbished computers.

Wednesday, April 11, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
InterConnection.org Computer Reuse Center
3415 Stone Way North
Seattle, WA 98103

Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Ally at (206) 633-1517, Ext. 115

  • CenturyLink Broadband for $9.95 per month plus modem and activation fee.
  • Low cost refurbished laptops equipped with Windows and Office software. Starts at $149.
  • Home phone service for $8 per month plus taxes.
  • A collaboration of: Interconnection.org; Seattle Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens; and CenturyLink.