Tea, Toast and Technology - technology session with seniors

Over the last couple of months, I have been involved in several sessions for seniors called Tea, Toast and Technology (or Tea and Technology). These sessions have been thoroughly enjoying and enlightening. The premise of the session is to talk about anything technology, not just YourLink and help build the confidence for attendees by understanding their questions.

I'd like to share the experience we had with one of them at a wonderful aged care residence in Orange.

Set up

  • I arrived early to have tea, raisin toast and to introduce myself. By doing this it builds a bit of rapport and addresses the direct question to me - “who are you?”
  • Explained who I am and what I had been doing? (All about creating an environment of sharing.)
  • Let everyone know that no question is a bad or wrong question.
  • I also ran through a few basic principles using some analogies.
  • Talk about ACMA (Australian Communication Media Authority) research indicating the reasons why seniors across Australia use technology are:
  1. Connect to family and friends
  2. Check bank information
  3. Research things they need or like to do

Questions and comments that came up

I went around the room ask each person one thing they have always wanted to know about technology. A few questions that came up:

  1. How do I set up email on my iPad?
  2. Why won’t my skype work and more?
  3. How do I Defrag my computer?
  4. How do I fix my desktop?
  5. Facebook and security?
  6. What is the cloud?

Some also talked through technology in their current lives

  1. My son set up an internet connection as he lives in the UK and every Friday we connect so that I can talk with him and my grand-kids.
  2. Texting on current phone. Some people taught themselves while others were shown.
  3. One participant turned up with the stress colouring book who was apprehensive of technology. As a group we then spoke about things of interest and that they are available on the iPad and learning one thing at a time is all right.
  4. Questions around one participant in a wheelchair who could not speak but would sit and do a word find with pen and paper. Her carer asked that due to the unsteadiness of her hands and movement we are not sure about the iPad but are you aware of anything we might be able to use?  

Summary:

Seniors willingness to learn or talk about technology comes from creating the opportunity and taking the time to educate and inform. By listening and asking questions that relate to their lives, experiences and what they are going through you create a trusted environment for engagement.

I’d be interested in hearing if you have run a similar session or have other feedback about seniors and technology. Contact me on rick@yourlink.com.au or post a comment below.