Older Queenslanders embracing new tech
Queensland's mature-aged residents are embracing technology to stay connected amid the state's coronavirus restrictions, enforced to keep them safe during the global pandemic.
Victoria Point resident Michael Byrnes is learning about apps and blogging while in isolation in Brisbane.
The general manager of STAR Community Services, Patsy Wilshire, said the not-for-profit aged-care service provider's STAR Tech program was teaching older Queenslanders to use online resources to ensure they didn't get left behind in the digital world.
"Technology can support seniors to not only maintain their social connections, but in fact improve the quality of their life via online shopping, banking and other digital services," Ms Wilshire said.
Ipswich resident Bobby Flower, 81, is one of the program's many participants using newly learnt technology skills to stay in touch with family via regular video calls.
"It is difficult to not have my grandson over for visits, but we talk every day through video calls," he said.
"We share our day’s activities with each other."
Victoria Point residents Dorothy and Michael Byrnes are learning about apps and blogging.
"It breaks up our day," they said.
"By learning new online skills, we are able to focus on something productive."
Other residents are using their skills to exercise with their weekly group online, access e-books and tune into radio stations via an app.
Helen McCullough, 69, is sharpening her focus and memory skills with online brain-training games.
"They are very engaging," she said.
"My family emails me links to interesting quizzes and trivia to try out. I look forward to the challenge."
Queensland communities have not forgotten their older population, with strangers writing chalk messages in front of aged-care facilities.
A Holland Park couple has created a work of art outside that suburb's Duhig Village – Southern Cross Care in Brisbane after a reduction of visits amid coronavirus fears.
Earlier this month, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched a "care army" to help vulnerable neighbours and those over the age of 65.
"We want to protect 1 million seniors. If we can look after our most vulnerable, we can prevent them from ending up in hospital, or even in ICU," she said at the time.