Technology has become such a big part of our lives. More often than not, technology users are associated with the younger generation – kids glued to mobile phones, 30 something office workers busily tapping away on their laptops etc. At Tauranga’s Greenwood Park retirement village two residents are doing their bit to turn this stereotype around.
Ann Wadsworth and John Newton have formed a resident ‘iPad Group’ within the village and it has proved extremely popular. “We weren’t really sure how many people would be interested, but in a quick time we had 25 residents join up,” says Ann. The response was fantastic, although there was one small problem. Ann’s original plan was to have everyone get together in her home. As 25 was too much of a squeeze, she asked Greenwood Park’s Village Manager Todd Jenkins if WiFi could be set up in the village’s community area.
Todd duly obliged and now Greenwood Park’s iPad Group can meet online and in comfort. “We share ideas, discover lots of new ways to use the iPad, learn about new applications, games and puzzles, plus we cover the basics from setting the Pad up to sending emails and sharing photos,” says John.
“It’s really about giving our residents the confidence to make the most of this wonderful technology and from a social perspective we enjoy getting together and helping each other out.”
Outside the village both Ann and John are also SeniorNet coaches, who have seen how much benefit older people can get from learning about technology by taking courses. As Ann put it “it really does open up a whole new world of possibilities.”