STAR teaches seniors to use technology

STAR Community Services has launched a program teaching Redlands seniors how to use technology independently and build healthy social networks.

The program, which is open to people aged 65 years and older, sees participants receive a tablet and attend monthly workshops in their local area where they are given support from volunteers. 

Program coordinator Neha Shukla said Star Tech was designed to ensure elderly people were not left behind in the digital world. 

"The program aims to encourage seniors to become more confident users of digital technology at their own pace and in a way that supports their independence," she said. 

Redland Bay woman Dorothy Lane said joining the program had helped boost her confidence in using technology. 

"I have been hesitant towards participating in the online world," she said. "Since joining the program, I am more confident to explore and make better use of the internet."

Other participants have learnt specific skills like how to download eBooks or improve their internet browsing techniques. 

Ms Shukla said volunteers were needed to help participants learn the skills that would allow them to embrace technology and use it in their daily lives. 

She said the digital divide between older people and younger people was widening, with those over 65 the least digitally adept age group. 

"Lack of experience in usage of digital devices and anxiety about technology are key barriers in the usage of technology by the elderly in their daily lives," Ms Shukla said. 

Limited spots remain in the program for people living in the Redlands, including those on the islands. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can join the program after they turn 50.

To book your place, call Star Community Services on 3821 6699.