Matthews House Hospice is helping seniors get online

·3 min read

Matthews House Hospice (MHH) will be de-mystifying technology for older adults during its Compassionate Communities Information Fair on Thursday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The virtual information fair will boost attendees’ confidence in the use of technology and virtual services, while sharing all of the wonderful work being done at MHH.

"One of the biggest things we've been fearing over the last six months as we've had to go virtual is a lot of our older adult population are very nervous about accessing programs on their computer because they don't want to do something wrong,” said Megan Rochford, MHH Client Care Coordinator.

“To help with this, we're having a session on how to use your tablet or your smartphone so that you can use it properly.”

Anyone who signs up can get help from MHH volunteers with downloading Zoom and learning how to use it, so they are prepared to attend the information fair. Individuals looking to access that help can email MHH at info@matthewshousehospice.ca or call 705-435-7218.

The fair provides a wonderful opportunity for members of the community to network and for the hospice to build connections with people who don’t yet need its services, but will be familiar with them if the time comes.

"We're really striving to be a compassionate community and this is one of those features that allows us to support all our clients who are living in South Simcoe,” said Rochford.

The event will feature a few guest speakers, including comedian Deborah Kimmet who will talk about aging and resiliency.

“She’s bringing a light-heartedness to learning all this new stuff about technology and navigating this new world that we're in with a different way of communicating, a different way of being,” noted Rochford.

Sean Evans of the OPP will be talking about cyber security and fraud prevention, which is a topic of concern for many seniors as they spend more time on the internet due to the pandemic.

Other topics at the information fair include the use of tablets or smartphones, MHH service navigation, online exercise programs, online banking, online grocery delivery, virtual library programs and information on videoconferencing tools.

Those interested in attending can view a full schedule of programming at www.matthewshousehospice.ca/compassionate-community and register. Registration is required to attend the event.

Attendees also have the option to Zoom in for certain portions of the information fair that appeal to them instead of staying for the whole six hours.

"I'd encourage everyone to attend the event; really the goal is to demystify the technology and learn about how we can stay connected in a virtual world, especially during the next six months when we're home more because of winter,” Rochford told The Times.

“It just allows us to be more connected with our colleagues and our friends and meet new people and try new things."

Sam Odrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times