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Creighton Lodge seniors plug in to learn about technology

“We decided to do this program because technology is everywhere right now in our lives, especially throughout this pandemic.”
Jessica Kelly
Estevan Public Library adult program co-ordinator Jessica Kelly

ESTEVAN - Plug in, seniors, and get ready to learn.

The residents of Creighton Lodge are a part of a new program from the library, to help with their understanding of technology.

Jessica Kelly, the adult program co-ordinator at the library, has started the Senior Tech Program to help seniors with the internet and technology.

“Right now I’m teaching them how to use the iPads, how to brighten the screen, how to make the font larger, or some other things that can help them out,” said Kelly. “We’ve only had one program so far, and we’ve had two people come. So far they’ve been interested in it. They said it was helpful. I helped one senior set up a favorites page on Google.”

With mostly positive reception, Kelly plans to continue this program and her classes.

She said she started to plan this idea a few months ago, because she realized the struggles that older people face with newer technology, especially during the pandemic. Not all of their problems are simple to explain verbally, so Kelly decided to try a more hands-on approach to learning.

“We decided to do this program because technology is everywhere right now in our lives, especially throughout this pandemic,” said Kelly. “There are a lot of seniors I know who struggle with technology, especially because it’s moving so fast. Some seniors aren’t able to come (to the library) and get the help they need with technology so we decided to go to them.”

The program is very new, and Kelly has only offered one class so far, and only at Creighton Lodge. Although Kelly hopes to move on to other seniors’ buildings and care homes, she has only just started, and wants to take things slow.

“The seniors’ tech program is specifically for Creighton Lodge, and we’re hoping to spread to other senior homes in Estevan.”

She teaches classes once a month, and she is the only instructor, but hopes that they can move from iPads to different technology.

“I’m hoping eventually we can move to phones and maybe computers. It’s a bit harder with computers.”

Computers are kept in a small space, and Kelly prefers they stay separate for social distancing.

COVID-19 and pandemic restrictions haven’t stopped Kelly, even if they have made things more complicated and difficult.

“With COVID, I'm trying to keep us in an open space so we can social distance. I’m a very hands-on person, walking people through it instead of just showing them,” she said.

“When we planned our fall programs, we were working under the assumption that we’d be able to do everything in person. With Creighton Lodge, they went back to having masks, which sometimes makes it hard for people to hear. But for me personally, we’ve been wearing masks for over a year, almost two. I’ve gotten used to it. I do have to speak up a lot, which makes it harder.”

Although Kelly is optimistic about the next class, she hopes more people will show up.

“We’ve only had one class so far, with two people,” she said. “I think more people will join. I know some seniors get confused with technology. Hopefully as the program continues, people will be more interested.”

Kelly is also a part of the tech program at the library, a program that helps Estevan residents with small, simple technology problems, whether it be downloading an app or creating a favorites page on Google.

“It’s where, if you have any simple tech problems, you can call and book an appointment with us and we can help walk you through it. Nothing too major, though.”

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