Digital Drop-in for seniors

By Jack Elliott
Rainy River Correspondent

If this Covid-19 penchant for doing everything online and through social media has demonstrated one thing, it is as a senior if you want to survive in this digital world you’d better be able to be more digital than giving computers the flying digit. This was amply demonstrated during the recent attempt by the Ministry of Health encouraging seniors to register online for their Covid-19 vaccinations. The less than stellar results amongst seniors brought this clearly into focuscanoe thing

Seniors in Rainy River are facing the challenge by instituting training sessions at the Seniors Drop in Centre to get trained and connected. It took some doing and will take a lot of joint effort to not only train participants, but provide the ongoing support. Although scheduled to start this Tuesday April 6, 2021, the new Covid Emergency Brake Restrictions will force the start date to be moved to the end of April 2021. Already 38 seniors have registered for the classes so interest is very strong in digital education. Class sizes are restricted to five to eight people at once so several groups will need to be set up.

Through the efforts of West End Economic Development Officer, Gajith Jinadasa, and a grant from the Ontario Government announced earlier by Kenora Rainy River MPP, Greg Rickford, funding has been secured to set up the program. Training sessions instructors are Don Ricci and later Laura Armistead. Sessions will run through June as required.

Not everyone has the same training needs but the aim is to provide the computer literacy skills to get seniors connected and make use of social media, email and of a web browser to find information. All basic requirements in this digital age.

One of the most important computer skills is realizing a computer is just a machine. You will not blow up the world or anyone else if you hit the wrong key. There is nothing to be afraid of.

It took the efforts of many to bring this to fruition. Rainy River Fix-it Club, in particular, Rick Peterson for building and delivering a beautiful cabinet to hold our equipment. Vaughn Murray and Bob Hovorka for making sure our TV was securely mounted. Seniors of Rainy River for their support and encouragement throughout the process.

Covid-19 Isolation Protocols will be in force throughout the training. Masks must be worn, participants are assigned to small classes and tables and supplies are sanitized between classes.

To register call Rebecca Wood at 807-271-4473.