‘Big world out there… on the internet!’: Oldham oldies catching the computer bug

Chadderton pensioners are catching the computer bug, after Age UK Oldham and Oldham Council united to provide them technology classes.

Many people can become lonely and isolated in older age, and computers and the internet are seen as a crucial tool in alleviating these stresses.

However, for pensioners to utilise technology they first need to be taught how, and the council has provided funding which allow the charity to offer computer classes and one-on-one tutelage in the area.

Maggie Hurley, a spokesperson for Age UK Oldham, said that whilst patience was needed whilst teaching the old-timers, computers and technology have become ‘an inseparable part of daily routines’ for many.

“Technology can enhance later life, so we don’t simply teach you how to use a computer, we look for the reason you need to use a computer and then show you what to do,” she said.

“Our volunteer tutors and mentors are patient and experienced – we understand how difficult it can be to get started, but the friendly and informal way we approach your learning journey will make learning fun.

“Our older learners told us that sometimes using computers can be confusing and frustrating.

“However, the classes have helped them to overcome the anxiousness and fear towards computers.

“Now, the computer has become an inseparable part of their daily routines and used as a new tool for communication.”

A personal learning programme is set-up for each person who arrives, with some so happy with the results of the classes that they have purchased their own tablets and laptops.

Chadderton resident Dorothy Graham, 82, said that the classes had ‘brought a great deal of pleasure to my life’.

“Using a computer was quite scary, but now I feel more confident with the help of these classes and it has given me something to occupy my brain,” she said.

“I’d recommend the classes to people of my age. If they are fearful of the computer, they shouldn’t be because there’s a big world out there at their fingertips.”

The classes take place weekly at Chadderton’s Over 60s Centre, Broadway, and at St Herbert’s Court, also in Chadderton.

For more information, contact Maggie Hurley on 0161 633 0213.

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