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Seniors Digital Mentors

Council on the Ageing (COTA ACT)

Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT is currently recruiting volunteers who are interested in demonstrating to older Canberrans (in a one-on-one style format) basic technology skills.

We live in a technological world these days and since the COVID-19 lock down happened in March 2020, staff at COTA ACT have been inundated with calls from senior Canberrans feeling isolated, alone and unable to contact friends or family on modern communication platforms. Seeing a family member, a grandchild or an old friend via video link is far more satisfying then talking on the phone. Children also find communicating online easier, they are able to show the family member on the other end of the camera the latest piece of artwork created, cake baked or how much more they have grown. To respond to this we created a new program late last year called Get I.T. for seniors. This has proved very successful and rewarding with both participants and digital mentor volunteers alike.

We now need more volunteers in 2021 that are able to demonstrate basic mobile phone, tablet and laptop skills so that our seniors can continue to feel connected to family and friends. A lot of the seniors interested in doing the one-on-one sessions are shy, a little embarrassed and are keen to be in a one-on-one session rather than a class situation so they are free to ask questions without feeling silly or intimidated.

Between September and December last year we helped over 80 older Canberrans to access and be more confident with digital technology and reduce their levels of anxiety and social isolation.

For more information about the project, visit the COTA ACT website news area.