Internet Classes Coming to Local Senior Centers

Internet Classes Coming to Local Senior Centers

Senior Internet Cafe Coming to Local Senior Centers

Morgan Hall

The Ashland Beacon 

     Local seniors will have the opportunity to go online at their local senior centers very soon. Tim Wright is an Aging Finance Specialist with FIVCO Area Development District. FIVCO serves five counties within our region. According to the FIVCO ADD website, they assist in: home care, regional transportation, revolving loan funds, tourism and recreation, workforce development, and aging & disability services. 


     Wright gives us a breakdown of how the senior internet cafe evolved, "I started here in March, we have seven centers in our five-county area. I was traveling around and introducing myself. I like computers and I like helping senior folks. I thought I would put this together and maybe it would be something they would like. We had some extra funds Kentucky had delved over to us and we were trying to find ways to use those funds. So, I proposed a basic computer class for seniors." After the proposal was approved Wright bought 36 Dell laptops, seven projectors, and other supplies needed. 

     In today's world of technology, seniors are expected to do more and more online. It's imperative that they have access to the internet and they know how to use it, as many companies prefer bill pay via online services. "We want to attract more seniors to the centers and help them with their fear of computers, this gives the options and confidence to maybe pay their bills online," explained Wright. 

      How many computers will be provided to each senior center? Wright shares the details, "We will have five Dell laptops per center. The first class will be on October 18 at the Greenup Senior Center and on October 19, I will be at the Boyd County Senior Center." Wright plans on using a PowerPoint presentation while keeping the seniors involved. He will be going over computer basics: mouse, keyboard, laptop vs. desktop, etc. He assures me he will give folks a lot of time for questions and demonstrations. 

      Amy Darby, Director of the Boyd County Senior Center shared via their Facebook page, "Since everything is moving to online, it is important for Seniors to learn at least basics computer skills." Darby is elated about the upcoming computer class at the center. 

      The senior centers that will be adding these new basic computer classes will be Boyd County Senior Center, Greenup County Senior Center, and Greenup County Flatwoods Nutrition Center. The first internet class is on the books. "I enjoy computers, I enjoy working with seniors and I enjoy teaching," added Wright. Wright explains that he works closely with the directors of the senior centers, "I just want to help you, I don't want to put any pressure on you. I'll bring it in, set it up and it will all stay there at the centers. If they want to use the laptops themselves- say the director wants to get them out one day a week, that's great. I'm going to be there for one hour once a month. So, the directors can allow access to them at their discretion."

     The Beacon wanted to hear about Wrights' passion for seniors, "I am older myself and to see seniors struggling, I just have the compassion to go help them to make their life a little bit easier. Seniors are often overlooked."

     Wright shared a study done by Meals on Wheels in the North Eastern District and Southern Western Ohio, "Seniors are consumers or customers and should be treated as such. Their opinions matter, they are real people." Wright suggested that once he is in their shoes, he hopes that people show him that same courtesy. Wright believes independence is key, "If you can be independent as long as possible, by using a computer to do the basic things, that's important. Who knows where we are headed electronically," explained Wright.

     If you haven't found a senior center to hang out in yet, you have so many to choose from in the tri-state area. If you wish to participate in the basic computer classes that will be provided in Boyd, Flatwoods, and Greenup, you do not have to be in regular attendance to come to check it out. There are no income restrictions. The only stipulation is that you are at least 60 years of age to attend. 

     If you're a senior and you're looking for a welcoming atmosphere, stop by a local senior center in your neighborhood. Spend your golden years making new friends and enjoying fellowship and fun with other seniors. There is a place for you, you belong, you're important and loved.

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