Generations on Line Offers New No-Cost Tools for Seniors as Pandemic Demands Technology Skills

As the COVID pandemic has increased isolation and reliance on online communication, a national nonprofit devoted to digital literacy for seniors has launched a series of free tools to help more than a quarter of America’s 54 million older adults who struggle with the Internet.

After training 116,000 seniors to overcome their fear of the Internet, Generations on Line (GoL) has created, tested and launches the following remote-use COVID support tools:

2020 CENSUS: provides a safe preview and practice – to give seniors the skills they will need to enter their information with confidence, said founder and CEO Tobey Dichter.

The interactive website, developed with help from the regional Census office, includes quick training on filling in forms, previews of actual questions, and tips for Internet safety – all in a cheerful, age-respectful website, that adapts to smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers.

Internet and More

“Easy Tablet Help for Seniors” is an app suited to Apple, Android or Amazon Fire devices to guide a novice through the basics with friendly, simple, large type, onscreen directions for using these portable devices, email and texting, searching, photos, apps, and online safety. GoL has just launched it for smartphones, as well as any tablet computer. “Many low and moderate income elders won’t have Wi-Fi and now can’t have anyone coming into their home to help them set it up, so we optimized our training and added information about data plans,” Ms. Dichter said.  There is also a web version for those less comfortable with or unable to download an app

Family Help will help families and caregivers support their older friends and relatives, with simple instructions, in short forms for printing, for everything from what to consider in choosing a device to coaching them through using the self-paced training.

Video Chat

Generations on Line has also added ZOOM to its suite of video chat training, as that has become popular for family gatherings.

GoL said it is developing additional tools to help seniors join the virtual world during, and likely after, the pandemic of 2020. All programs are free. The organization is supported solely by charitable contributions. To help or learn more:

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