Fanshawe Students Help Seniors Get Online

Learning new skills keeps the aging brain sharp. The ability to use new technology like smartphones and tablets helps seniors stay socially connected, even when circumstances like the recent pandemic have isolated many people from their friends, families, or community groups. But many adult children lack the time, or the patience, to teach their older parents how to use technology safely and effectively – that’s why a new program that pairs college students with seniors is boon for elders and their loved ones. 

According to a recent London Free Press local news report, the federal government’s New Horizon’s for Seniors program pairs tech-savvy Fanshawe College students with elders in the community, helping them learn to use computers, smartphones and surf the ‘net.  Each of the 24 participants has been paired with a student through a virtual class, helping seniors learn new skills and feel more confident using technology. 

Older adults are able to learn how to access goods and services online, a skill that has become so necessary during the recent pandemic.  Being able to order groceries, pay bills or visit with their doctor virtually will ensure that even when seniors aren’t able to get out of the house, they can remain independent and engaged.  Once seniors get the hang of video chats, can enjoy more social interactions and feel less isolated.

The program is broken down into 10 mini online lessons that help seniors learn the basics of using a computer and getting online.  Student mentors stay in touch with their elder buddies by phone, email or through a video chat.  The program will continue through to August 25, and seniors interested in learning more can contact Fanshawe by calling 1-844-287-3267 or messaging at for more information.