The feeling of isolation is a problem many mature adults face; particularly for those who are living on a fixed income. Prior to participating in VCI Cyber-Seniors, two-thirds of participants had never sent an email and nearly half have never connected with their families online. Almost every task these days is performed online using a computer or mobile device; not understanding how to connect online creates an even more intense feeling of isolation amongst mature adults. Social isolation can create a number of problems ranging from physical health to mental health.
The VCI Cyber-Seniors program combats this problem by pairing teenagers and young adults with mature adults in order to teach them the basics of computer skills. Supported by a grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation, VCI Cyber-Seniors is an eight week long program consisting of weekly 2-hour sessions. The mentors teach the participants a range of computer skills from backing-up documents to performing a Google search.
This program does more for our adults than teach them basic skills. After participating, 96% of our Cyber-Seniors felt like lives had improved. Additionally, several said they felt healthier and more active.