High school students from Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton were among a group of tech savvy teenagers who volunteered their time to help residents at Moldaw Residences, a senior living community in Palo Alto, with technology. The teens worked one-on-one with the residents, and they helped them in their apartments on their own technological devices. The assistance was very well received especially since a growing number of seniors are a part of the technology wave with nearly 70% of adults 65+ using mobile phones, more than half using email and a third of the older internet users are on Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
"Technology is extremely difficult to understand, even for myself at times," said Brock Cozad, one of the student project organizers. "Technological advancements are rapidly occurring, and my ultimate wish for these seniors is for them to gain a basic understanding of technology and to be able to connect with their grandkids, children and friends."
Nearly a dozen teenagers came out to Moldaw Residences for the event, and the teens plan to return once a month. Students Joshua Lauder and Brock Cozad recruited the students and organized the event.
"I know that family members can get frustrated when trying to help their loved ones learn how to use technology," said Lauder. "When we visited Moldaw, we tried to be extremely patient with them, and I hope that the seniors got a lot out of the sessions. I find it very rewarding to volunteer my time, and I had a lot of fun."
Moldaw Residences put out a signup sheet for residents to reserve time with the teens. The residents eagerly signed up, and they look forward to having the teen tutors return next month.
"We were thrilled to have the teens come out to Moldaw to work with the residents," said Miki Raver, director of lifestyles services for Moldaw Residences. "This was a fabulous intergenerational activity, and it helped the residents improve their technological skills. The residents like to stay current and in touch with the latest ways to communicate, and I know they were excited about this opportunity!"