ONLY 49 per cent of older people have the internet at home in the Shoalhaven.
It’s a percentage the people involved with a new program called Tech Savvy Seniors hope to change.
The Tech Savvy Seniors program is an initiative of the NSW Ageing Strategy that aims to help bridge the gap between those seniors who use technology and those who are yet to embrace it.
The Tech Savvy Seniors program provides low-cost or free training to older people through community colleges. It will cover courses on computers, tablets and smartphones that promote social connections, easier access to information and improved wellbeing.
Minister for Ageing Andrew Constance said with almost one quarter of Shoalhaven residents aged 65 and over, the potential number of locals who could benefit from the program was high.
“Giving seniors the confidence and skills to use technology is important so that they are able to participate in the digital community and economy,” he said.
Telstra Country Wide area general manager for Illawarra, Michael Marom, said new communication technology presented wonderful opportunities such as staying in touch with family, friends and making new friends through social media.
The program includes ensuring libraries and community colleges throughout NSW are better equipped to support more senior Australians with more face-to-face training, self-teach videos and DVDs and other training content.
“We will also be driving large-scale training with a particular focus on regional and rural areas,” Mr Marom said.
Visit www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/ageing for more information.