During this pandemic, technology has become a critical part of our everyday lives.
For older adults, it has become a vital way to stay connected to family, faith communities, and physicians. But many of our older adults lack the resources, devices, or the “know-how” to engage in technology. This is especially true for some of our Senior Corps volunteers who have been unable to serve their clients, students, and sites since the middle of March. While there are some incredible resources for older adults online, many Senior Corps volunteers don’t know how to access them. To reduce social isolation and boost technology skills, the Foster Grandparent Program launched a Zoom training class, taught by the FGP staff.
Sixteen Foster Grandparent volunteers attended class once a week for four weeks. They learned all the basic Zoom skills and played games to practice them. But being together virtually – seeing faces, making new friends, supporting each other—was an even bigger benefit.
We believe that Zoom might help many of our Senior Corps volunteers engage in “teleservice” opportunities in the coming months. In the meantime, Zoom has already opened new doors to our volunteers. It has helped develop mastery of email, videos, and smartphone usage. It has also allowed them to access endless educational, social, and wellness resources in our community and beyond. The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs will be starting additional training groups in September. Stay tuned to see where Zoom will take them!