WHILE many ailing seniors clubs stick to the landline, fax machine or even a stamped envelope to communicate with members, older folk in Bayswater are taking to the web to keep their long-lived clubs alive and kicking.
Sue Hayes is president of the Maylands Autumn Centre and at a recent meeting they resolved to go online with a Facebook group page.
“We just found that a lot of people are wanting to get on the internet. I said ‘let’s get a little more community involvement, let’s try to get a Facebook page going for the Maylands Autumn Centre’,” she says.
“We just thought this is a way people can become involved in what’s happening at the club, what we’re doing. It’s not only for seniors but for families of seniors who are looking for somewhere for their parents to go.”
Bayswater council’s running free workshops to help train community groups to ensure they stick around and thrive, and classes in online presence and social media is one wing of that. Mayor Barry McKenna says the clubs put a lot of tireless effort into the community and he wants to make sure they get the support they need.
“Upskilling our local community groups and clubs benefits the individuals and the community,” he says.
Ms Hayes has taught seniors how to use computers for years now and says as long as they’re interested they learn fast.
“We had one lady come along, she was in her 80s. Now she rally wanted to learn. She learnt, she went out and bought herself the best computer, digital cameras, she learned to do everything, she learned to do her husbands accounts.”
Isolation is a big issue for seniors, and the web can help keep them socially active. Ms Hayes has just had a knee reconstruction, and being online has let her keep up with friends and family even though she can’t get out.
The Free classes have already had a few early sessions but they run all the way through to June next year, with the social media classes happening November 9. All the info’s at the council website or, if you’re not yet web savvy, call Belinda on 9270 4107
by DAVID BELL