Aurora Oliphant isn’t a stereo-typical senior who likes to sit back and enjoy retirement. This active 70-year-old Miramar resident still wants to gain knowledge and participate in the community. She recently graduated with eight others from Senior Planet, a new program offered by the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA).
Initially, SoFIA noticed a demand for this type of education from the organization’s existing volunteers, who would ask for help with things like using Uber to get to a doctor’s appointment or finding housing online. The non-profit’s response was to develop a tech program to meet those needs and connect and empower seniors to handle their affairs independently. Currently, Senior Planet has received over 400 calls from interested seniors.
The 10-week free course teaches seniors (60+ years-old) the technology basics to keep them connected to the changing world around them. Oliphant learned about the class through her involvement in SoFIA’s Foster Grandparent Program. This amazing program places senior volunteers into Title One schools, nonprofit childcare centers and preschools throughout Broward County to support the most underserved students who are at risk of failing academically.
“With the support of our sponsors, we are able to offer the successful Senior Planet classes to the community free of charge,” said SoFIA President and CEO Peter Kaldes, Esq. “Not to be comfortable with technology in today’s world is to be isolated and disenfranchised. From connecting with family, to submitting a resume on a job site or researching a doctor, technology is a tool that helps older adults thrive.”
Oliphant learned in “Computer Basics” how to locate, compose, and send e-mails. She has also learned how to navigate the internet, such as going on to YouTube, where she can find her favorite movies and music, like Abbott and Costello. She also says that she can use her new skills and confidence to benefit her bible study group.
“I was afraid of computers because I didn’t understand all the icons. I often play games on my computer, but whenever I took a wrong turn and ended up lost in a maze of windows I would just turn off the computer,” said Oliphant. “Now, I feel brave and with the basic understanding of how the computer works I am more comfortable using it regularly.”
More course offerings coming soon are “Beyond the Basics”, “Money Matters”, and “Social Media”.
To learn more, call 954-484-7117 or email [email protected].