Area Agency on Aging hopes to bridge the technology gap between teens and senior adults

TEXARKANA --The Ark-Tex Council of Government's Area Agency on Aging wants to help senior adults improve their technology skills with the help of some local teens.

"Seniors Helping Seniors" is a program that will help high school seniors earn community service hours by teaching senior citizens how to operate cellphones and computers.

Angela Glass, a benefits counselor with Area Agency on Aging, said she was inspired to start the program when she noticed her teenage daughter helping her grandfather with something on his phone.

"Everything is going online now. There are times seniors need to fill out an application online and they worry about it. Some of them don't even have an email address," Glass said.

Glass said the agency has reached out to local high schools and has students ready to go. Now they are trying to get the word out to senior adults.

The classes will include basic instruction on smartphones, tablets and internet browsing. Seniors will learn how to take photos with their phones and how to email photos.

One aspect will be for seniors to practice safety when they use their smartphone, computer or tablet on the internet to avoid fraudulent activity.

They can also learn how to use their devices to order medications from a pharmacy, order groceries or other items online for pickup at the store or by home delivery.

Seniors will be serving as positive role models for youth and helping the students earn community service hours for college admissions applications.

"We want to bridge that gap between them," Glass said.

For more information, contact Glass at 1-800-372-4464 or email [email protected].