Nelson’s Ian Grant is helping other seniors discover the benefits of smartphones. Photo: Kate Russell.

Seniors keeping connected

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Nelson’s Ian Grant was in his mid- 60s when mobile phones took off. He is now 84-years-old and relishing everything today’s technology has to offer.

The keen Nelson SeniorNet member and tutor is now helping other seniors navigate their way around a smartphone though a course they run at their Hastings St rooms.

The very basics, such as making and receiving phone calls, sending texts and adding contacts are all covered in the course, which will be promoted at their open day this weekend.

Ian, who has been a SeniorNet member for 15 years, says he wants to show others aged over 50 that using a phone is not as complicated as they might think.

“My phone has made my life easier. I put my wallet in one back pocket and my phone in the other.”

Ian says most people just want to learn the very basics, but there are many other benefits.

He says things like internet banking, using Google Maps and connecting with friends and families over apps like WhatsApp are all things they can teach.

“It can be good for keeping the brain active and the opportunities for social contact are great.

“Many people come here, and they don’t know what’s available. We try to publicise the possibilities,” he says.

Ian says he no longer needs a land-line and can easily keep in touch with his daughter, who lives in Cuba.

“The beauty is, you can be accessed anywhere. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are. You’re not confined to the surrounding walls – there’s a big wide world out there.”

Ian says although it can be daunting, he encourages others to come along and give it go.

“There are those who don’t want to know and its ‘too complicated’ and those who want to know everything, and those in-between.

“We have members walking away chuffed with what they’ve learned and can’t wait to tell their families.”

Classes are kept small, with plenty of tutors on hand to help. They also run courses for iPhones and iPads.

If you are over 50 and would like to learn more about computers and other technology you can head along to the SeniorNet open day this Saturday, 27 April from 10am to 2pm, at 11 Hastings St by Pioneer Park.

For more information got to www.seniornetnelson.org.nz