by Justina Hurley
As the summer holidays approach and children have time on their hands why not encourage them to give a gift of time and teach an elderly relative or friend how to use the internet?
A whole world can open up for elderly people, especially those who have children and grandchildren living abroad, when they can connect on Skype for the first time and see the faces of friends and family that until that point seemed to be so far away.
I’ve seen the benefits myself in relatives taught to use iPads and kindles. Suddenly they can see clips of songs they loved but hadn’t heard for years, they can read about pet subjects, they can look up all sorts of information and watch clips that remind them of their youth or days gone by.
My father, for example, is worse than any hi-tech teenager, as the iPad is now so precious to him that it nearly has to be wrenched from his hands while my mother, an avid reader, churns through kindle books at light speed. A dear family friend recently got an iPad and now can connect with her grandchildren via Skype and send emails to boot!
In the same vein, in Canada two sisters, Macaulee (16) and Kascha Cassaday (18) launched a high school project to teach their grandparents to use the internet so that they could stay in touch via email, Skype and facebook.
They developed a training manual and recruited their friends to visit a local retirement home twice a week to teach interested seniors how to use the Internet. The seniors all had different interests. Some were eager to get onto Facebook to see photos of their grandkids, while others wanted to play online games, and all wanted to use email.
From that the Cyber-Seniors documentary was born. This documentary charts the journey of a group of senior citizens as they learn to use and explore the internet.
But things took an extraordinary turn when 89 year-old Shura decided to create a YouTube cooking video as this encouraged the other seniors to develop their own YouTubes and so a competition began to see who would get the most ‘views’ of their YouTubes!
For the teens involved it was a rewarding experience and proved to them and to their ‘students’ that you’re never too old to learn nor too young to inspire!
Saffron hopes that her film will inspire more seniors to get online and inspire teenagers to help them so that the idea of the Cyber-Seniors program will reach even more senior citizens across the globe.
Watch some clips below:
Discovering You Tube