Older adult learners are curious about new technology, but many lack the support and training necessary to use it. The internet can be an incredible tool for communication, creativity, and connection. It can also be daunting and confusing. CTN has no shortage of older adults wanting to learn new digital skills. However, we do have a shortage of digital coaches to pair them with.
So what does being a volunteer digital coach entail?
Senior learners enrolled in our Home Connect program receive remote digital training from CTN staff. After the initial training is complete, a learner is transitioned to a volunteer digital coach. For one hour a week, the coach meets with the learner over video chat to reinforce their newly acquired digital skills. They form a connection with their learner and empower them to feel confident online. As many seniors remain homebound, digital coaches have the unique opportunity to reduce isolation and loneliness for a vulnerable population.
With the help of volunteers, Socorro Galvez attends weekly guitar lessons via Zoom. Maria Bajarano participates in online choir activities and exercise classes. Elmira Lagundi can video chat with her family members in the Philippines.
“I am passionate about working with older adults, and I believe in the power of intergenerational relationships — my sessions with my senior learners are the highlights of my week!” says volunteer digital coach Ariana.
We are currently in urgent need of Cantonese-speaking coaches. All that is required is basic digital skills, access to the internet, and one hour a week. If you know a college student or someone in need of volunteer hours, digital coaching is a remote opportunity that makes an impact. Spread the word to get our seniors connected, and check out the volunteer page for more information.