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Project: A Look at Seniors and Technology

If you are interested in volunteering for this or any of our new projects or if you simply want more information, visit our volunteer page.

Problem to be Solved

Even though there appears to be a lot of classes offered for training in the use of computer technology (including desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones), there still seems to be a sub-set of older adults who want to learn about technology but have difficulty just getting started. This team proposes conducting a series of focus groups to determine the barriers for older adults learning about and using computer technology. 

How  will successful resolution affect the local community?

Older adults can become more isolated when they are not able to use technology to maintain connections with family or friends. Their families who are not local don’t have a convenient way to keep track of their loved one. Older adults also miss out on opportunities for learning and expanding their knowledge of subjects of interest to them. Lifelong learning helps in maintaining a person’s cognitive functioning so can have a positive affect on someone’s health and wellness. 

Many programs exist for training in technology. A partial list of organizations teaching computer classes: the Poudre Library District, Fort Collins Senior Center, AARP (OATS curriculum), Senior Planet, private consultants (e.g. class “Triumph Over Technology”). 

All of these classes appear to assume a student has basic skills in signing on and navigating on a computer. 

What will be acceptable outcomes for the team in addressing the problem?

  1. Develop format for focus groups addressing concerns of attendees over using technology. 

  2. Conduct focus groups about Larimer County with older adults who are interested in learning to use technology but are not able to find the right environment/situation for acquiring the needed skills. 

  3. Analyze and report on the results from the focus groups with the intent of finding a project a follow-up SDVT could do. 

What Volunteer Qualifications are needed?

  • Good interpersonal skills.

  • Basic computer technology skills.

  • Experience with focus groups. 

  • Knowledge of Larimer County locations and contacts where focus groups could be held. Ability to organize and analyze narrative comments. 

Training and Support:

This team will be supported by the PAFC priority committee working on the Culture of Aging issues. A member of the priority group will serve as liaison between the team and the PAFC.  The priority group provides oversight, counsel, support, and resources needed to plan and produce the event. Once the team is established there will be an initial training that covers project expectations and team process. A volunteer coordinator will be available throughout the project to address issues rising within the team itself. 

  If you are interested in volunteering for this or any of our new projects or if you simply want more information, visit our volunteer page.