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For many seniors, the internet and all the social media that comes with it can be a foreboding and frightening place. With all the new vocabulary to learn, the little icons to remember, and the worry about all the scams present, many seniors will choose to stay in their suites in their retirement home and never turn on a computer, smart phone, or tablet even once in their lives.

But social media really isn’t as scary as many believe. It’s an excellent tool to connect with family and keep in touch with children and grandchildren. Using something like Facebook to share pictures and send messages can make the distance between a senior and their family seem closer. Pinterest and Etsy are great sites to share ideas and creative suggestions with people from all over the internet. By creating an account and following what family members are doing, you can see what their interests are and how you can relate to those. It also might be a great place to share the vast amounts of knowledge seniors carry.

In Vernon, the Literary Society of the North Okanagan have set up a couple of programs to help people get onto their devices and connect online. There is a computer support program at the Vernon library on Tuesdays and Thursdays where a volunteer will help you with tablets and computers. Contact the library at 250.542.7610 for more information.

There is also an iPad/iPhone workshop run at the Literary Society (see www.literarysociety.ca for more information) where they’ll show you exactly how to use your device.

At The Hamlets at Vernon, we want to make sure that everyone living in seniors housing stays connected to the rest of the world, regardless of if it’s digitally or in person, during one of our many outside activities.