It may not be earth-shattering news, but the resumption of Internet classes for seniors at Philipsburg Jubilee Library (see Wednesday paper) is noteworthy. To start, it’s commendable that management and staff were able to again offer this free service despite having to move out of their badly hurricane-damaged and practically condemned former complex into smaller temporary quarters at the Adolphus Richardson Building.
Space for the weekly morning and afternoon sessions is understandably limited to 10 participants each, but it’s still a great opportunity for people over 50 to familiarise themselves with information and communication technology (ICT) and how to benefit from such. Mentioned were using email and Facebook, reading online and Skyping.
Studies have shown that these skills can help prevent the elderly from becoming isolated, which often happens as they tend to – slowly but surely – lose contact with others. Not only that, but computers and the Worldwide Web are great research tools that allow for easily finding out more about practically everything.
By the way, older persons should not be embarrassed whatsoever about needing this kind of guidance, because today’s rapid technological advances are hard to keep up with in general and certainly at their age. After all, some 30 years ago the fax machine was a big breakthrough, but now it is hardly used anymore and there are many similar examples.
So, concern about possibly being called a “dinosaur” is a bit misplaced. One is never too old to learn and there is absolutely no shame in doing so.