Using Technology for Senior Programming

By Hemali Shah- Senior Services Coordinator

Technology is changing the way we interact with the world and the way the world interacts with us. The biggest impact we have noticed is the role of technology in the lives of our seniors.

Technology is enabling the baby boomers to age in place safely and live in their homes longer. Programs such as life alert bracelets, which detect falls and call 911 with a push of a button, to various applications that track medication management have empowered aging adults to remain independent. There are applications for caregivers to keep track of doctor’s appointments, home health workers’ schedules, and family member tasks. The uses of technology are endless.

The biggest role technology plays in the lives of seniors is preventing isolation. Online education, chat, e-mail and increased phone availability have now made it possible for older adults to stay connected within their community and actively seek out activities that will ensure their overall well-being. The ease of using devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops has made it increasingly easy to stay connected with family members across the country and the world. PEW Research Center has found that over 34% of Americans ages 65 and older use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to loved ones. We also live in a time where we can connect live with our loved ones through Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp Video Calls, and many other applications that lessen the feeling of isolation and loneliness.

Lexington Senior Services Department is teaching and assisting our Lexington seniors to properly use the technology available to them. One of our most popular programs involves Lexington High School students, who facilitate a technology drop-in program as well as a monthly presentation on a popular topic. The high school students help one-on-one during the technology drop-in time to troubleshoot devices, set-up emails, reset passwords, and help navigate couponing sites. The monthly presentations focus on a specific technology topic, such as how to video chat or how to upload photos to Facebook. Both of these programs provide an opportunity for our seniors to connect to Lexington teens and learn something new.

Another way we use technology is through our local cable company, Lex Media. In the last year, we have videotaped our more popular senior programs, such as our Older Wiser Life Long Learner (OWLL) classes and the Economic and Finance Series. Both of these programs can be found on demand at the Lex Media website for viewing after the program has taken place live. Our seniors are able to participate in programs, make-up missed classes, and continue to learn by having access to new programs made available on demand.

Lastly, we have started offering live and interactive virtual programming as part of our ongoing senior programming. Interactive virtual programming is our way of connecting to individuals, museums, non-profit organizations, and schools across the country and the world to enhance our cultural knowledge. During the program, we connect live on video chat with a staff member of the partner organization to learn about a specific topic. For example, we connected with a private school in Ghana, Africa where we learned from the students about African culture, history, and food. The African students were able to ask our Lexington seniors questions about American culture and aging in America. Technology makes it easy to speak with people across the globe without leaving the comfort of your home and community.

Our goal at the Lexington Senior Services Department is to help our seniors live longer by being active participants. Whether they choose to be active by coming to the Lexington Community Center or watching the programs from their home if they are homebound, we strive to offer something for every audience. For more information, check out our newsletter, The Sage, online or pick up a copy at the Lexington Community Center. You can also like us on Facebook!


Phone: 781-698-4840

Online: Lexington Senior Services

Lexington Human Services Facebook:


Senior Matters columns are presented to the Lexington community through a collaboration with the Lexington Human Services Department Council on Aging. Information provided in these columns is general in nature and not intended to substitute for individualized professional advice. Please see a professional for any concerns you may have about this topic or any others in a Senior Matters column. LEXINGTON COMMUNITY CENTER 39 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA 02421.

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