Connecting seniors

Michael Fiteni takes a selfie on his smart phone.

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, while essential to protecting older Australians who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, may be causing social isolation and loneliness.
The Digital Connection for Seniors Project aims to support people over 65 in the Macedon Ranges to socially connect with family and friends using internet-enabled digital technologies.
There has been an increase in the use of electronic platforms that enable people to see and hear one another during the lockdown period. In addition, many essential services, clubs and support groups have moved online.
Thanks to some peer-led digital mentoring, members of the Gisborne Men’s Shed have been keeping in touch over the phone and internet while self-isolating, supporting continued connection and wellbeing.
Sixty-nine-year-old shed member Michael Fiteni spoke of the benefits of using his smart phone to stay connected while self-isolating.
“I use it to keep in touch with friends and family, follow the news, shop online and share songs and photos with my friends. I’ll be 70 this year, I can’t go anywhere without my phone. It’s now part of me!” Mr Fiteni said.
So, are you 65 years or older and living in the Macedon Ranges Shire?
Would you like some help with learning to use a digital device (a computer, smartphone or tablet) and the internet?
If you don’t have a device there may be options available to you.
Contact the Macedon Ranges Shire Council on (03) 5422 0237 for further information and to register your interest.
This Digital Connection Project for Seniors is a joint initiative of Central Victorian Primary Care Partnership, Cobaw Community Health, Macedon Ranges Shire Council, Goldfields Libraries, Kyneton Community House, Lancefield Neighbourhood House, Gisborne Men’s Shed, Macedon Ranges Health and the Zonta Club of Kyneton.