CDM BLOG

Cindy Dennis

Executive Director

Online computer skills for seniors 101


Technology has opened the doors to a world of information that we once had to travel to obtain. While sometimes it can be daunting—or even frustrating—to learn how to navigate a new computer, tablet or smartphone, there are many benefits to having access to the outside world at your fingertips.

Seniors in retirement often have extra time to fill. Many get a second wind for hobbies that they have always wanted to develop, skills they know they need to learn or are simply ready to make more time for learning more about activities they already love. If you’re a senior who wants to develop a new skill through technology, here are just a few ideas for online courses you can take for personal enrichment in your golden years.

Basic Computer Skills

For seniors, strengthening your general computer skills and developing a basic understanding of how to use the internet not only helps you access information, but also helps you keep in touch with family and friends. Not only will you learn about email, how to share files and how to set up accounts on social media, but you’ll also have access to reading breaking news, listening to your favorite musicians, watching videos and playing games that can keep your mind sharp.

Sometimes seniors reject technology because they fear the unknown, but starting out by learning basic computer skills will give you the confidence you need to explore the world wide web. It’s also important to use guides and tutorials to learn ways to stay safe while online.

Online Music Classes

You’ve always wanted to play the piano, but never had time to sit down with a teacher and learn. Maybe you’ve seen other seniors laughing as they learn fun and exciting instruments like the clarinet or saxophone. While you may want to get out of the house for lessons, if you have limited time or mobility, or have a transportation conflict, you can take all kinds of music lessons online—sometimes even for free. Using your computer skills to navigate the web will not only help you take lessons, but it will also help you explore the tools and equipment you need.

Online Art Classes

Have you dabbled in watercolor or oil painting in the past, but now in your golden years want to learn special techniques? Not only will art classes help improve mood by tapping into your natural creativity, studies have shown that art can help distract you from thoughts of illness, reduce negative emotions and help combat the degradation of fine motor skills that can come with arthritis. Art is a wonderful way to express your emotions, instead of keeping them bottled up. Seniors can use their internet skills to bolster their art abilities or learn a few new ones with online art classes.

Online Conversation Classes

You lived a full life—from raising a family to climbing the career ladder—but now retirement has you feeling a little lonely. The usual bustle of your day, chatting with coworkers or sitting down with your kids for dinner, has been replaced by longer bouts of solitude. Don’t let yourself get isolated in retirement. There are plenty of options for a vibrant senior social life out there. Community centers, fitness centers, church groups and websites like Meetup.com can fill your social calendar with more activities that you could have imagined. However, if you find yourself clamming up when it comes to small talk, look no further than the internet to help. Online conversation classes will help you connect with others in the digital and physical world. You can even learn a new language!

Many people, regardless of age, find new technology intimidating, but taking that first step into the unknown is a lot easier than it looks. If you’re still unsure of where to start, seniors can often take advantage of classes at their local libraries and community colleges. Make the most of your golden years by diving into the internet to keep your mind fresh and active.

Cheryl Conklin

E: cheryl@wellnesscentral.info

www. wellnesscentral.info

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