Meeting #3

Meeting Details

Date:  June 19, 2023 

Time:   2:30 – 4:00 PM CDT


Thanks for a Good Meeting.

Find the meeting video and transcript below.  Thank you Chris Farrell for your insights!

Let’s keep the conversation going.

Meeting/Question #3

What are important teaching approaches that will help older adults use their devices to be engaged and connected?

Meeting #3 Agenda

Meeting Agenda

Welcome & Introductions

Perspective from Chris Farrell

Discussion of our survey results on learning approaches.

The 3 legs of the GFS learning plan.

Collaborate on learning approaches.  


Pre-Meeting Skills and Learning Survey - Please complete before our meeting.

Let’s get the conversation started with a survey!


Survey Responses

Here is the link to view the responses to this meetings survey.

Meeting 2 Skills and Learning Survey Responses

Our Focus Question

Older adults may feel intimidated and overwhelmed by technology.  Let’s use this discussion to consider the development of skills in this community.


  • What are important teaching approaches that will help older adults learn their devices to be engaged and connected?
  • What platforms will work best for working with this population?  Consider  personal training, in person class training, online training, audio, video and blended approaches.  
  • Are accessibility accommodations important?  Consider large fonts, text to speech and more.
  • Is voice command/response (e.g.  Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant) a good approach for this community to access technology? 
  • What is required to help a person who is stuck or struggling with their technology? 
  • Can caregivers and family members help with skills? 
  • Are there other partners in the skill development area?
Slide Deck

VIdeo Transcript

(4) GFS DCC Meeting #3 June 19, 2023 – YouTube

(00:00) the sharing screen okay all right I’ll bring I’ll bring that back okay alrighty so with the introductions I would ask that everybody give your name then your organization enroll within that organization um and share a brief memorable learning experience it may be something that tickled you after you learned it and how did you learn it so don do you want to be our sample introduction person to help give us your background and set the stage sure um so welcome everybody again I’m Don Frederickson and uh I you know I you
(00:48) know have this passion of of working with older adults on their um on their technology and I have you know published a website called and I have done hundreds of online training sessions for older adults um I have had the pleasure of of working with uh gifts for seniors here for a few months gifts for seniors in Carolyn as we as we look to expand and and uh and grow the tablets for seniors program um you know when when I work with older adults I oftentimes tell them that they can learn anything on YouTube right and
(01:30) I’m sure that a lot of you have probably experienced that too so one of the one of the learning experiences that tickled me just about a month ago was I had a clothes dryer that was rumbling you know like if you put a pair of tennis shoes you know in a clothes dryer and run it by themselves you know my my clothes dryer was sounding like that and um it was 25 years old I we were already shopping for a new one but sure enough you know you could explore on YouTube you could you could find somebody that showed you how to disassemble it
(02:00) um I bought a 30 part a new drum blower and and replaced it and my clothes dryer has some new life it’s just one of those one of those experiences that that just kind of tickles me that that we have the ability to to learn like that so welcome everybody I can go um already yeah uh so that’s a fun story because I and it hits home because literally two weeks ago I did the same thing and I found a five dollar part and replaced on my dryer I’ve never taken a dryer before in my life fixed it totally works then the following week my washer
(02:44) quit had an error code I took a risk on a 275 dollar part fixed it and it’s working like a charm and it feels really good right now it doesn’t always end that way but that was fun but similar story because you got my wheels turning years ago so we have a projector for our TV downstairs so we kind of project you know the image on the wall is that’s kind of our main TV so it’s a little we don’t have a big house but we what we have we make the most of it so we have this big image on the wall for our TV anyway uh the
(03:14) projector started having um issues where there were lines in the screen and uh what I figured out was there were some moisture issues and from all my Google searching and um I thought well it’s past the warranty it’s never going to get replaced for any I’m gonna have to buy a new one so there’s no risk to this so I found a YouTube and I dismantled this projector took it apart and cleaned this piece the best I could without really having all the right parts put it all back together and it worked and I I got at least
(03:47) another you know two years out of it and then we did have to replace it eventually but I kicked the can down the road and I took a risk and it’s fun to Tinker when again see if you’re it was low risk right because I knew it was either broken or I would fix it so it’s kind of fun to try something like that Joel that’s great great story can you back up for a minute and introduce yourself so Chris knows more about who you are and your organization I’m sorry yes that’s that’s the whole purpose of
(04:17) this thing um I’m uh my name is Joel Prevo uh Prevo Partners is on my own consulting company with my wife um we’re a husband wife Duo a long time senior operator so as a nursing administrator um ran a region of Assisted Living so spent uh a good 15 years operating in the space and then broke away uh about four years ago to join my wife and do Consulting so I do marketing and Communications and then Tech Consulting for sometimes solution providers who want to figure out how to help people in the senior space or it’s an operator
(04:50) who’s looking for Solutions and I work with Leading Age Minnesota to bring uh Tech solutions to the membership that will help with Workforce for example so I do a variety of things in that way so that’s why I’m here and I’m happy to be here wonderful thank you very much Jill appreciate it Joan you want to go next sure um I’m Joan green I’m a speech pathologist and an assistive technology specialist in the Washington DC area um and I I have my own business Innovative speech therapy and I’m very much into I I know
(05:26) Don because I formed in Elder Tech advisor um and teacher cohort group and I’m getting ready to launch something in the fall so um excited about that and I help people of all ages and abilities and um one thing one thing that I really like that I subscribe to and I I think Don knows about this but there’s something called the iPhone iphonelife.
(05:52) com and it sends you one tip a day and I just think that you know often I know the tips but I don’t always know the tips and so like for example today it’s get help in an emergency with medical ID on iPhone and I know about that and I’ve taught about that but it’s just good to remember and so it just takes you know 30 seconds as I’m going through my email and there have been times that I don’t know about these little tips and it’s great and easy to to keep up with everything that way so it’s that you can just
(06:22) sign up for free for the daily tip that’s great appreciate that Joe Wonderful Paul what about you uh I’m Paul fold this uh I’m relatively new transplant to Saint Paul from Washington DC uh in a former life I was in FTC consumer protection attorney I have a tech background um and I started Helping Seniors with technology when my son moved to McAllister College my mother said how we’re going to communicate he said email I I took an old computer to her house hooked it up to the Internet and my life
(07:03) was never the same uh and then I was doing teaching at Montgomery College in Montgomery County Maryland how to use the internet most people who came to my class were people in their 50s never touched the computer didn’t know how to turn one on um and I I’ve been doing helping coaching informally uh for about 25 years my most memorable learning experience experience is even though I have a tech background and I’ve been online before dos my son who was in high school growing up and was working at the computer lab at his high
(07:49) school whenever I would ask him for help he would say read the freaking manual and then he graduated to Google it then he graduated to YouTube it and now I get the greatest pleasure when I’m able to figure something out and um even though my company is called new paradigm Solutions the Consulting gig um I’m so old that I forget about the new paradigm sometimes and it’s really nice to see um you know living in a new paradigm which is look it up on YouTube as previous speakers have spoken about so that’s my story and I’ll stick to
(08:29) that thank you so much Paul appreciate it and Julia just to give you a little sense of what’s going on we are trying to give Chris Farrell kind of a purview of who everyone is that’s on here today your your name your organization and then also sharing a a fun story of a technology that you have found to be useful that you want to share with the group we’ll give you a few minutes to think about it so you’re not just jumping right in um let’s see Jamie what about you hi uh Jamie Andrews I’m the executive
(09:08) director of the American choral Directors Association of Minnesota um and a very small little startup nonprofit called Prime life Arts learning which is a online learning platform for older adults and kind of part of in the creative aging movement that was started almost three years ago to the to the month actually so um uh the which of course I could share a a you find finding something on YouTube as well but I’ll another one that comes to mind was when I was able to find out how to move and Google when
(09:42) you compose an email and you have it move the email into a separate window which was totally jumping down a rabbit hole looking for something else and I stumbled upon oh you just hit you know shift and hit the button or the arrow and I didn’t realize how great that was and how annoying it just never occurred to me but it was just like a whole new way of moving things around on my desktop so that’s my story in terms of fun Tech thank you Jamie very much Christina hi sorry I’m just getting over pneumonia
(10:24) so pardon me if I start coughing because I won’t be able to stop so I’ll mute myself if that happens my name is Christina Kwan I’m the executive director owner of Phoenix Cove adult daycare and I work with the Asian Elders in the Twin Cities we are located in Lakeville Minnesota um but I’ve been in business since 2015.
(10:48) we moved kind of all over from Saint Paul to Richfield and now Lakeville so now that we’re in a Lakeville we actually have our own building and um our building is multi-use during the day we use it for Adult Day Care and then in the evenings and weekends we rent it out it’s a wedding venue well and and meetings and conferences we’ve learned through the years to be very mobile so that’s why we’re able to do what we’re we we do and um so um one of the things when we we also deliver um groceries to our elderly and this
(11:30) started when um in 2020 when the pandemic hit um when we were shut down by the governor and we said well how if people are fighting over toilet paper and rice how are our elders going to get their groceries or get their food or get their toilet paper so a week after we were shut down we started just packaging um like groceries and toilet paper and just putting it in bags and just going out and delivering it to all of our elders and then now um so to this day we continue to do that because we they have come to kind of
(12:11) depend on that and what we pack is culturally specific um food like Rice and Noodles and Asian fruit Asian vegetables we do that in addition to our Adult Day Care Services and we are serving right now I’m over 50. um our adult daycare has kind of um before the pandemic we had about 40 um over 40 elders and now we’re barely 20 between our in-services and our online and during the pandemic when we were delivering groceries that’s when we taught them how to use zoom so a few of them are still joining us virtually from
(12:56) their homes because either they’re too far for us to go to get them or um they still don’t feel safe going out um what I’m not sure what I’ve learned I’ve been out for two weeks so my mind is not um that function and functioning the way it should so I you know I think years ago um oh I know what I learned yesterday my kids introduced me to chat chat GPT and I was amazed I was writing some stuff and I input some information as Ai and um it it was amazing because I it from what I input in it knew exactly what I was
(13:44) wanting to say and it couldn’t be better than I mean I I can’t write that better terrific thank you so much Christina Julia are you feeling comfortable jumping in now yes hi this is exciting this is the my first meeting with you guys it’s um nice to see everybody um my name is Julia Oakley and I am the volunteer and service coordinator with Long Fellow Seward healthy seniors and we are a living at home black Nurse Program um we serve the Seward Longfellow Community we provide volunteer services for things like transportation to
(14:32) medical appointments um we have a community nurse that can do in-home assessments we have chore service and we provide classes we’ve done art classes and exercise classes and we just recently just last Thursday had a technology class um so we just try and provide a lot of different services to older adults in our community all done by volunteers and that’s just very brief explanation of who we are but um the technology I’m excited about this technology because I’m a birder and I just found out about this I’ve known about this app
(15:17) called Merlin but I didn’t know that you could press this button and hold your phone up into the air and it recur records the bird sounds and identifies what birds calling and so that is to me is magic so that’s that was an easy one for me thank you that’s wonderful thank you Julia I appreciate you sharing that John what about you hi my name is John schlice and I’ve been employed uh four gifts for seniors as a coordinator for uh eight for eight months prior to that I did a lot of volunteering for gifts for seniors so
(15:54) it’s been quite a learning process for me uh in in not understanding and doing all these uh functions uh I would say the the most recent Tech thing for my Fire tablet I went and purchased a 128 gigabyte flash drive because I wanted to download a bunch of movies on it so when I go camping I don’t need to have the uh internet to be able to watch the movies and I just assumed that I would insert the flash drive and and just start downloading movies on it well that didn’t work like that so I had to go on
(16:27) YouTube and understand how to format it so that when I downloaded the movies they went to the flash cart and if I wanted to download an app that would be on the the device itself prior to that I did go on YouTube and figured out how to replace the pads on my disc brakes on my mountain bike I did that straight from just without knowing anything I just started taking it apart which was a risk but it worked good for you Chad that’s that is a good one terrific thank you Jen Carolyn hello everyone Carolyn dieters executive
(17:05) director of gifts for seniors I lead the programs and volunteers much like Julia we work primarily with volunteers to deliver our services for the community um I just want to extend my thanks to all of you for taking the time to join us again today and Chris as well I’m super looking forward to I I’ve heard Chris speak a few times before but um I think he has a lot of insight to the things that we’ll be talking about today so really thrilled to have you here Chris thanks great thank you Carolyn and um just quickly I’m Patsy Bartley
(17:43) and I was asked to facilitate and help with this uh as we were meeting and Gathering everybody’s best input I’ve Had The Good Fortune of working with Don and Carolyn and Chris um over the last several years through an organization called shift where we help people mid-life on really look for their purpose and passion in how to transition with their life and work uh with everything that’s changing in their lives right so um dealing with people midlife on and really understanding the needs and the challenges that they have of trying to
(18:20) keep up with these Technologies help them get comfortable utilizing them and not having them get left behind is critical also some great applications for Health Care related applications um grocery shopping you name it but how do we help get people comfortable and competent utilizing these tools but also doing it safely so they are not putting themselves um at risk financially and uh personally so love having you all here um I’ve been reflecting recently on all of the AI applications that are out there right now
(18:58) years ago back in like 1989 to 91 I actually did business development in artificial intelligence for 3M Corporation so looking at what we were doing then and what’s all coming out now is just fascinating to see the evolution and how it’s being embraced in a much more um robust fashion but also wanting to make sure people are paying attention because there’s both the positive and the negative side of it that have to be managed and handled effectively it was the challenge back then and it certainly is as we go
(19:35) forward but it’s not something to be ignored and we’ve got to figure how do we really um embrace it but also manage it effectively and and use good sense so with that I think we’re good at Chris I’m gonna do a quick intro for you and then we’re going to want you to to do your same intro on yourself okay is that okay that’s okay so uh Chris is the senior economics contributor for at Minneapolis but at many Minnesota Public Radio and Marketplace American public media’s nationally syndicated public
(20:11) radio business and economic programs Chris is also the Communist work market watch PBS next Avenue and the mini star trip his most recent books are the new frugality on retirement and the purpose and a paycheck and if you haven’t seen his books you should really get them they are very well written and very informative and very thought provoking so with that Chris again we all want to thank you for being here with us and to sharing your Insight thank you so much oh well thank you very much and uh I’m very and I’m not a mute right no good
(20:49) and uh and I’m very glad to be here I was thinking about why what learning experience I was in Madison this weekend and um visiting some friends from college and the thing that this is not you know it has nothing to do with technology or anything but the thing that I took away from that is we all had that Foundation we’ve known each other for 50 years uh but at the same time we’re still learning from each other and we’re still engaged and we’re still curious and that was the thing when I walked away that
(21:24) was we weren’t living in the past the past gave us a currency and some really pretty good laughs but it was also talking about today and what we’re doing today and the things that we’re curious about today and it was just a wonderful feeling having those connections uh and that engagement which again is that directly learning but I you know so for example a friend uh who’s a lawyer an Environmental Lawyer and he’s teaching a class and it didn’t go over well in college at the law school and he
(21:57) got you know a lot of a lot of negative comments about it so then you know sitting around and talking to him giving him emotional support but then also talking about well okay what were you doing what was the class like what you know and sort of like being really engaged and being helpful with each other so that was my learning experience was learning more about pedagogy and law and Law School um so how can I be most helpful uh most useful I mean in terms of you know one of the things that I that I talk about just to
(22:31) start out because we’re talking about technology is everybody needs a help desk right and everybody and a trusted Circle for your help desk but I do sort of rebel against this notion that and you all know this you know there’s this notion that Asian technology or an anathema but if you think about when I my first office job uh I had a word processor that if you didn’t hit the enter button it’s an IBM’s electric you could erase a line if you hit the enter button you had to use whiteout and then we went to uh the
(23:11) dedicated word processing machines then we went to the desktop computer and then now we have the laptops and then we use the iPads and so I think a lot of the um I think we’re a lot of discussion about technology is people actually have adjusted to a lot of Technologies over their lifetime and to build on that not to build on that they don’t understand it or that it but it is that they’ve actually done a lot but as you get older one of the things that becomes really important is why should I do this
(23:45) what’s the what’s the reason for doing this and there’s this wonderful research um Arthur Hamburg and he’s uh professor emeritus University uh from a university of Australia or a university in Australia in the University of Hamburg and he’s done this a lot of work about creativity and aging and um Arthur Copley I’m sorry uh Arthur Copley is his name and uh what he says is that a lot of times people will will they’ll be in a meeting in the workplace and they’ll misunderstand the questions
(24:21) that the older person is asking it sounds like their resistance against technology the resistance against this Innovation and he goes you know what they’ve probably been through 20 presentations by Senior Management about why this is going to change the workplace why they have to do this how it’s going to really adjust things and they have basically seen a lot of failure so what they’re really not saying is I don’t want to be part of the Innovation I don’t I I don’t they’re not saying I I’m against technology what
(24:51) they’re saying is management do you actually know what you’re talking about and if management does know what you’re talking about then I can learn this really easily right so the thing that uh and I like what you’re doing there’s a group that I’ve written about and interviewed a bunch of people a senior planet in New York City and then they’re now in Colorado a couple other places and again it’s all about and what just as a number you were talking about you know making it comfortable making the technology
(25:21) comfortable um but I do think this issue and I think I know it was you Patsy that mentioned it but the issue about trust who do you trust and I just I’m writing my um Star Tribune column and it’s you might have seen at the uh the um AARP and the uh what’s it called the national opinion Center the University of Chicago um they just did a research report on uh Financial exploitation of the elderly and it’s a pretty good study it’s 28.
(25:56) 3 billion that’s their estimate uh of annual uh Financial exploitation and one of the things that comes out of the research that’s really clear is the more your socially isolated and the more you’re lonely the more vulnerable you are to financial exploitation I think it’s kind of a similar not not to the degree of poor but there is a similar thing with technology to the extent that you’re more socially technology can help you not be Associated isolated or is lonely but the more you are social socially
(26:27) isolated or lonely um technology can become something a little more to be afraid of Technology becomes something unfamiliar and so a lot of this discussion about technology is really a discussion about uh fighting against social isolation fighting against loneliness uh having people that you trust having a network having connections and um you know I think if we were to to modify you remember Descartes you know I think therefore I am and I think if we were you know to modify that today it would be you know I’m connected
(27:00) therefore I am and you know that’s the kind of thing that that I like and so I don’t know how I can be most helpful for you do you want to ask questions uh or do you have questions that you’d like to ask me and I can address them and then by the way whenever I’m talking feel free to interrupt we’re a small group anyway but it doesn’t bother me in the least if you want to interrupt me and say Chris what are you saying that’s perfectly uh fine with me so um you know with with the tablets for
(27:39) seniors project you know this is an effort to you know provide tablets for you know those that are isolated um and and most likely people that have no experience with technology and so it caught my attention Chris when you when you talked about um you know the motivation to learn technology because I I know older adults who who will just flat out and say well why do I need this right you know I can think of my mother-in-law um you know have you encountered in in your work have you encountered you know any any any
(28:23) compelling methods that we can use to really address that motivation and and and propose that you know this is a good step for these for these isolated seniors to embark on so couple thoughts random and may or may not address there was and I will get to the point but is that there was a business um and I think it’s still in business it was in Cleveland and um what they were doing is uh they would work with chefs in their off hours who wanted to make some extra income and you go into the home with someone who was homebound elderly who
(29:02) was Homebound and cooked them healthy meals for the week what they learned is it’s great about the healthy meals what they learned is what was the benefit of it was a person in your kitchen cooking for you having a conversation for a couple of hours and then you got some healthy meals out of that and so I think it’s like with this part of it is if you have it you know and what we’ve learned with um we’ve all learned this you know it’s great when you when you get that tablet and you open it up and then you look at
(29:38) it but uh I think part of it is building in a conver you know this and I’m sure you’re doing this a support system that says you know let’s have a conversation about what you can do with it and maybe it’s that you never you can’t go um you know it may be physically and financially maybe just you you you you really would love to go to uh the Grand Tetons like I’ve never been there I have a friend there it’s on my list of things to do but maybe you can’t do that anymore but this tablet can open up to Grand Tetons
(30:12) to you I think obviously you know the clear one is um you know with grandchildren or children and and staying in touch another is um you know depending on on the on the health of the person uh remote work is really changing the hiring prospects of older of older workers and there’s a wonderful organization called wave and uh wave what her Insight was the insurance industry is a licensed industry and it’s very hard to get back off as people in the insurance industry and so what she created was a business for the insurance
(30:53) industry for 50 years and old older and you would hire them all remote work and they work out of the home a lot of them are disabled in their 70s and 80s but they come out of the insurance industry they know the terminology they know how it works but nobody’s ever been allowed to see their picture you’re never allowed to meet the person it’s just their work people love them they do a great job she’s moving now into accounting uh because again simmer has a very specialized language there are things that you really do have to
(31:26) know how to how to work with people and what struck me though is that she says she’ll get these reports from people how great this person is and we love to meet them and she says she just you know obviously they can meet if the person wants to but she hasn’t done it because for for most people because of age discrimination but I think with tablets depending on the person you know again it may open up the opportunity to be doing a little work so I think there’s some you know going to museums travel
(31:55) staying in touch with children uh doing a little bit of work on the side um uh you know playing games that uh that are fun playing Wordle uh and um so I think it’s a variety of things so it’s like anything else you kind of want to find well what is it that that you’d like to be doing that you can’t that’s hard for you to do now or what how would this open up an opportunity for you and I do think the work is not to be underestimated and Chris to build off of something else you said you you talked about the
(32:34) cooking situation and the most important part of that was the conversation that they were able to have with that Resident that they really wanted that social energy interaction and engagement yeah and we found that same thing with the chore services and Julia I’m sure you run into this um we had to tell our people don’t be undone if if you’re they’re wanting conversation more than getting the work done because that’s more valuable than actually fixing you know X Y or Z it’s that conversation and that connection
(33:09) and relationship so we had to build that into the expectations so that it was fair to the employee or the volunteer as well as that Resident that was getting that that support service so just building more of that time and energy into that expectation set same thing if you’re helping someone with the tablets it’s going to take a little longer yeah because they’re going to get said they’re not going to just be on task trying to learn what to do with the tablet it’s going to be about everything else around it that they’re
(33:42) wanting to talk about and Carolyn I want to get get to your question because yes yes I have have read it um off of this one of the things uh in talking to senior planet they found one of their most successful programs which was people who wanted to um have a basically you know we call it a side hustle I mean it’s a business it take you seriously but they’re not talking about scalability they’re not talking about working 24 7.
(34:13) I mean but they’re a lot of times they have a craft and maybe you don’t want to put that craft out into the marketplace and they said that you know people would come in with no computer knowledge no nothing but they learned so quickly because they had this craft and they wanted to get it out on the marketplace and you know get it on the website and so again the people were just picking things up really quickly and uh Carolyn asked a question about the the Surgeon General report on on loneliness and social isolation it’s
(34:43) really an important report and um I just think that uh uh this is over the next because things move slowly over the next 50 years this is one of the the biggest challenges that we have the United States for you know not for all bad reasons but it’s really interesting when you go back and you read the research in the 1950s and there’s actually you don’t have to read the research from the 1950s you could watch it’s uh it’s a different era it’s two 15-minute ads so part one 15 minutes part two 15 minutes and it’s
(35:20) uh encouraging people to move to Sun City it’s on YouTube and what it is is this guy retires and he gets the gold watch and then he goes home and he’s got all these projects to do around the house and then young people start moving into the neighborhood and the ball goes through his window and he feels old and they don’t feel useless and then they go visit some friends in Sun City and it’s all Piers their age and they’re dancing and they’re barbecuing and it’s like a country club and so they moved to Sun City and the
(35:55) research at the time said we don’t want older people around younger people because it’s going to make them feel really bad but they’re around a bunch of old people they’re going to feel like this is just a normal thing we’d actually know at this point that that was like one of the worst ideas imaginable and so there’s this whole movement to recreate you know how do you have more intergenerational living um you know if you think about a lot of workplaces one of the things that’s really interesting to work for you it’s
(36:21) not by Design it’s by the it’s almost like the nature of the Beast the workplace is intergenerational in most places just by definition you walk in the door it’s all kinds of Ages in there but when we’re thinking about things like housing and uh education and learning even things you know it’s like we do tend to tend to isolate things so I think this um social isolation and loneliness is a really big deal and it even gets down to how do you think about designing buildings how do you think about
(36:54) um there’s a there’s a triangle near the University of Washington and one building is an apartment building and it’s for graduate students and really young uh new professors brand new professors mostly graduate students and then on the other side of the triangle is a senior living center and then on the other side of triangle are some retail stores so with the senior living center decided to do is they opened up the restaurant uh to The Graduate students and actually a lot of The Graduate students go over and spend
(37:29) a fair amount of time over there you know having their lunch talking and stuff like that and so this is working really well and then The Graduate students start work about 10 o’clock at night you know and the older people might be in bed by then but at that during that period of time that they’re together um you know they figured out a way to have an intergenerational moment so uh I think the this social isolation and loneliness this the pandemic the thing with the pandemic did is I think it made more people
(38:04) empathetic to it and more understanding because so many people knew somebody that was perhaps in a Continuing Care Community or um an assisted living center or you know living alone in their home a widow or a widower and you know and realizing how isolated and lonely they were and I do think something did shift something did change there but it’s really hard to change building codes it’s really hard to change how you think about the design of a city how do you change the way you think about how a bus is designed but I do think that is
(38:40) there and that’s why I said like it’s sort of one of those things um there was this professor who’s a wonderful professor at Temple University and he’s been in uh very deeply involved in the um the Aging movement in cities uh age-friendly City and he was asked so okay over your three decades of your career what have you learned and he said the main thing that I learned is what is good for old people is good for young people and what’s good for young people is good for old people and um and the concrete example that he gave
(39:15) was New York City because people were sleeping on the benches got rid of all the benches near uh bus stops and they then realized that it wasn’t only the older people who had no longer a place to sit but young people with children and strollers no longer had a place to set so instead they put the benches back now they put a bar in there so you can’t sleep on them but the benches are back and you can sit and you know it was like sort of rethinking things but that takes time and but I do see that as one of the
(39:55) biggest changes going forward when you think about designing where people are going to live how neighborhoods are going to be designed in the future Chris have you seen any examples of really good adaptation of Technology with older folks anywhere globally that you think has really been well done um so the one thing so and you all know this um when I started so my first book on on Aging came out in 2014 so I would have started to work probably like say around 2010 and I would go to these various conferences and at that point I think
(40:40) the big flaw was um everything was designed with an idea around technology that older people were mentally and physically incapable of dealing with technology so we’re going to make them a tablet that looks like a Fisher Price tablet or we’re going to and then like I I went to this presentation it was this was 20 2018.
(41:13) and it was uh and you know the the thing the lanyard that you can put around your neck help me I I’ve fallen and they went into uh they did research in a couple of senior centers and what they realized is that even and this is their words not mine says even at 80 years old people want to look good so they went to Samsung and had a beautiful watch design that everything built into it now the Apple watch is kind of taken over that market but there are other other ones there Apple watch is pretty expensive but I think what has happened is realizing that
(41:45) people like slick Technologies people like things that are cool it’s just that you need to sort of program with bigger where we’re not doing a good job is with um you know I don’t like it with bigger uh things are too small right and it’s it’s a little awkward to deal with some of these things and I and even you know with texting and stuff like that but it’s sort of like not thinking enough about but always you always want to have that cool Factor you always want to have that design and I
(42:19) read an article was uh years ago and again this is probably back in part of my problem is pre-covet and post covet pre-covet is like blurring it’s like just becoming this blob of time postcode I can tell you pretty much what you know where we are so sometimes pre-covet an Apple computer at that time they’ve now shifted but applicator at that time did not want to acknowledge that its best market for the iPad was uh Japan and 65 percent of the buyer were 60 years and older and they now don’t have a problem with that
(42:56) at that point in time they kind of kept that research very very quiet um I think they booed on from that and Chris I don’t know if you you’ve had a chance to look in the chat but um Joel put in uh an excerpt about pillars of Prospect Park are you familiar with that I know I’m not ah Joel sure I I used to work for Ebenezer so for a long time as an operator so I was fairly familiar with this um Community but and then we do some work with oppaden who’s the developer now but they uh it’s a unique community at the U of M
(43:38) where it’s a senior you know it’s Assisted Living it’s a senior care Community um but they also offer student housing in the community and they have an intergen program with the child care on site so it’s a lot of progressive things there going on and they they collaborate well with the you and doing art programs and they even have seniors who go to the U of M basketball games and put on like a whole they do they perform at halftime they do a dance thing it’s fantastic stuff um and so it’s really an example of um
(44:12) what you were alluding to right like why are we separating ourselves in society and instead looking at well we want to intermix and it’s important that for the younger people that they’re intermixing and they have relationships with people from different generations and the amount of learning that can go on both formally as well as informally is is really impressive so this is just a local example that I think is uh is really a good one and it looks like um Carolyn you have some experience with them as well
(44:44) yeah I think um Southeast seniors which is one of gifts for seniors Partners is in that building as well and so there’s some some great programming going on there I I do think it’s a bit of a higher price point though to live right right at that location agreed and that’s one of the biggest challenges right that we see in across the board is there are great things it can be hard to get them uh to lower income seniors and so the campus I ran for Ebenezer was in Minneapolis this is the lowest income campus that they
(45:20) operate um and you know 600 seniors a grand majority of them are we’re on waivers or you know Ma that type of thing and we you know it can be done right it takes Partnerships like gifts for seniors a lot of other organizations to bring in the Arts and we had a lifelong learning program but it’s uh it takes a lot of collaborating and a lot of work um and you’re always scrapping for funding right so um it’s a challenge but uh yeah there’s some there’s some good stuff out there some good models that I
(45:51) think we can all learn from there are some good models in Bridge Meadows uh which is out in um Oregon now they’re in Washington and so what there is uh it’s a it’s actually a planned community and um it has foster children adults but as they and so that’s a really good example Tim Carpenter uh he tried to set one up here in the in the Twin Cities but in Burbank he did he came out of Health Care and then he apprenticeshiped himself to a developer for 10 years to learn because the only ones that can really build
(46:29) these things are developers who understand the federal credits the state credits the city credit and how do you do it he did it again it was for um lowering a lot of uh people have been waiters or waitresses all their life you know no retirement savings plan and then build it around arts and again like this one also have a school in there so there are these wonderful examples and then of course the question gets to you know how do we build it so they’re not just these unique examples Cleveland uh School of
(47:00) Music has this program where its students can live for free uh in a in a senior center and they have to play once a week I think that’s the that’s the deal but it’s also turned out there’s all kind of going for walks with the dogs and impromptu meetings and eating and in the dining room so you can see all these wonderful things that happen and I also feel that this is sort of like this you know technology can help this a long way when my mom who was who was she was of that techno she told me
(47:34) at age 83 she walked into Best Buy and turned around and said Chris the world has walked me by that’s it however the this is also a woman who um would always get on the bus in Washington DC and you know she spent every week she’d go to the the uh foreign film with festivals and go to museums technology was what she turned away from not the Arts and not not the crafts and everything else so she she was very engaged but where she got fascinated with technology is when uh there was a student project and they
(48:06) went around to interview in the Continuing Care community that she was living in and then she and the kids got together and they were having a conversation about technology and they started showing to things that they could do and then she got engaged then she actually was was interested but if the young person who was probably uh these young people were probably you know 12 14 years old uh if they hadn’t walked into hadn’t been invited into her apartment she wouldn’t have had that interest and Chris have you seen any examples in
(48:43) more of the upstate or rural areas because again different set of challenges yeah for them because they don’t have the developers that are going to make those kind of Investments level situation so it’s really I mean as you all know I mean you’re you’re seeing shrinkage in healthcare in rural areas shrinkage and education in rural areas the one thing that is happening on a more positive level it does appear that for the first time you really are seeing some real money spent on broadband in rural areas that this is actually having
(49:20) Minnesota is a pretty good State overall relative to the rest of the country um but the uh you know surprisingly the affordable housing issue in many rural areas is also very very severe um but there I think the big thing is you know technology is is is truly a Lifeline um because uh if you just think the way that we’re spending our money for example they’re not going to be building that many hospitals in rural areas it’s going to be telemedicine and so um I think it becomes incredibly critically important that you have
(49:59) Broadband um in the rural areas and everything is built around that because that also provides for some remote work uh but and that’s been holding back a lot of a lot of rural areas is really the lack of of connection s you know at least the Broadband part is coming into play there which is great yeah if they’ve got an investment they’re they’re going to do it with a cell phone because that’s that’s the one thing that they can use this kind of a multi-purpose yeah that’s right so I I mean I agree there’s been a huge
(50:44) um push in investment for um that infrastructure but where we’re seeing significant um black and services trying to build some of those digital skills that are required exactly and having one-on-one you know digital navigation support especially for homebound older adults or people that have mobility issues whether it’s strictly Transportation because most of our transportation is still curve to curb or um you know for health reasons and so I’m hoping that that’s what’s coming next in 2024 as the state puts their program
(51:24) together but you know it’s like I mean building the infrastructure for older adults and not providing the assistance it’s kind of like giving it a device and then it just sits on a shelf and isn’t getting used exactly exactly and and the other thing which you know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know but again it’s not just having the device it’s all the costs associated in order to be able to use that device you know between the broadband and you want some apps and you want some uh you know
(51:54) even if you want to be getting some new I mean there’s just so many costs associated with owning the device itself um and then the upgrades that that that come along oh you’ve got your hand up yeah I have a question for Chris Opera Pope the experience that his mother had with the young people I maintained that grandchildren are the secret weapon and getting grandparents to adopt technology I saw that with my mother she was willing to put up the frustration but also I’m advisor to teen Tech tutors in Alexandria Virginia and
(52:33) there during the pandemic a high school sophomore started this group when she gave two iPads and two iPhones to her grandparents so that they could communicate during the national shut-in and found out like we have spoken that you need to teach people how to use the stuff and I’m a co-lead of the tech club at that condo community of 1200 condos 2 000 people majority over 60.
(53:01) they all have iPads they all have iPhones they just don’t know how to get the maximum use out of them and I’m just wondering whether based on Chris’s experience with his mother being engaged does he believe that if there was a team Tech or Boy Scouts Girl Scouts faith-based Community Based teenage groups as I have experienced with the high school students in Alexandria Virginia but that that could be through Americorps or something similar and viable possibility to advance Helping Seniors more scale up so to speak help
(53:40) for seniors how to use the stuff and so on I think is a great idea and uh a couple thoughts on pursuing that so one is um you should be called Mark Friedman’s group it’s now called cogenerate and you know they’re really deeply involved in creating intergenerational relations and um the Eisner Foundation uh is dedicated solely on funding ideas that had this intergenerational component so uh and then the other one is Generations United which is a which has been around for a long time based in Washington DC
(54:24) but I think it’d be really interesting to find out what who’s doing what in this space right now but building on that idea and Americorps I think I’m gonna have my fingers figures slightly off but I think Americorps like 30 percent uh 55 and older now um and so Americorps is actually a really good idea it offers a certain it may have a built-in interiorational component that they’re not actually tapping into uh as much as they could be so um I think it’s a really good idea and it would uh uh and I you know and frankly I mean
(55:03) sure there’s curmudgeons on all sides doesn’t depend what it doesn’t matter what age you are but most people really do older people like being around younger people and younger people like being around older people you know for a certain amount of time then you got to go you’re gonna go off on your own and be with you know it has to do some other things but I do think it’s a really good idea to build on that um that I didn’t use some existing organizations to try and and uh that would be an example of scaling up fairly
(55:34) quickly if you got buy-in and I’d be curious Eisner might find something like that uh in Fair disclosure I I have uh talked to dorote in New York and they’re an Eisner Foundation Fundy and I’ve also and their executive director sits on the generation United board okay so I think there’s possibilities but I need some help in you know getting to the right people I’ve been around the space I have on the Street Experience for about 20 years uh but I just don’t have the organizational ties in a formal sense
(56:15) and I just didn’t know whether it was next Avenue or whether PBS or anything like that because PBS demographic is certainly probably skewing to older viewers and uh they could be perhaps interested because there’s money out there now yeah I mean that you know uh I mean even though I’m in in public media I don’t know anything about PBS if you know I mean I don’t know the the management the organization I only know them as a as a journalist that uses them as an outlet okay yeah dad I want to check in with you how are
(56:58) we doing time wise with everything else you’ve got on the agenda well we’ve uh We’ve kept Chris you know over the time that um you know that we wanted but this has been great um I I think we should just do a final call for any other you know questions for Chris and then um I do want to spend um you know our last half hour you know talking about our you know education and skills plan um as as we build out the the gifts for seniors program so any any Final Call for questions for for Chris well I’ve got one for him so Chris if
(57:42) you look at the high schools they do in ojp and on on the job training that program what if they were to adapt the OJT program or having those students actually be assigned to go and actually work with seniors as part of that on the job training I think that’s a great idea again you’re building on existing infrastructure and then you’re just really expanding its its Mission but it’s actually within the same mission right so you’re just opening so I think it whenever you can build on an existing
(58:18) infrastructure it’s just easier and uh and with the Aging of the population aging the workforce it just be I don’t think it’s as hard a a lift to explain why this is a good thing to do exactly and again I think the I’m sorry good I was just going to say I’m in Montgomery County Maryland just outside of DC and I I’ve been pretty active with the Area Agency on Aging for Montgomery County and they are all over this idea of using high school students to help teach technology and the superintendent
(58:49) from Montgomery County Public Schools is talking to folks with senior planet and which originated in Montgomery County Maryland and um so there you know there’s a whole lot of movement with that and I I think there has is great potential to help seniors and I think we all you know we all have a great example to to draw on which is uh so many stereotypes about older people and Technology I think we’re blown out of the water during the pandemic when so many people went on zoom and you know if you if before the pandemic if you talked
(59:22) about zoom and people being on you know it would have been uh you know it’s not going to happen they’re not going to learn it and the fact of the matter is the experience was I mean it’s a good technology it’s easy to use but the experience was people adapted incredibly quickly yes they had to be shown right a couple things but at my work at Minnesota Public Radio people had to be shown a couple things I mean there’s nothing unusual about that that’s just part of life we need to be you need to
(59:47) be taught you need to learn but it was a remarkable adaption and there was this article in the Washington Post was quite compelling which was the grocery industry basically did not pay any attention to people 60 years and older when it came to their online ordering because why they did they’re not they’re they don’t use technology they don’t know how to use technology we’re going after young people and what you’re in the pandemic that they saw was all the growth in their business online with 60 years and plus
(1:00:17) so it’s like they were just real and yet they they’re not their their their their their data because quote unquote data was really just a bunch of stereotypes you mean you just got this idea of a bunch of old men sitting in a room and saying they don’t know how to use technology we’re not going to sell to them and it’s like no they did so I do think that you know Zoom uh online ordering we’ve gone through an experience so that we can build upon that sort of like says no look these stereotypes are really wrong but you
(1:00:46) need support you need infrastructure you need a reason to be doing this we need some training and it’s like what uh what you’re doing and what some of the what it sounds like the high schools in Montgomery County I mean that those are exciting things to really build on okay thank you so much Chris thank you so much I really appreciate it so it’s it’s it’s great to meet all of you that’s that’s that’s the fun part of my job so um thank you very much and Chris you’re welcome to stay on if
(1:01:19) you want to listen through the next part of what we’re doing or if you want to go and you’ve got other commitments we appreciate that too all right well I think I’ll have to take off but thank you very much thank you Chris thank you bye now bye-bye okay done we’re gonna turn it over to you right okay and uh that was great um you know I I have something can I just can I just jump in super quick before we move on from that um discussion I didn’t want to tie up Chris with this but I do want to ask
(1:01:54) Julia and Christina and um Joel I guess about their experiences so some of the like real practical things like for Christina specifically you know when English is a second language like that’s a barrier to have like um teen volunteers working with them but also we’re working with vulnerable adults and um also these nursing homes a lot of them are closed off to outside groups without running background checks and especially during the pandemic obviously they didn’t have visitors so I’m just curious from you know someone who’s
(1:02:30) trying to figure out how we would um service clients this way um do you see especially like people that are still living in their own homes privately you know maybe something that was structured with the jtp program would work or Americorps where it’s someone consistently coming but just purely using like volunteer groups as a one-off type situation I see a lot of problems with approaching it in that way and so I really love like Joel and Julius and Christina’s input as opposed to you know having a hired
(1:03:05) digital navigator that is working one-on-one with homebound seniors and then also having some training materials in different languages available um I can start uh We’ve we’ve done technology clinics um where we have volunteers who work one-on-one with older adults in our community we also have volunteers who will go to somebody’s home if uh needed they are all have a background check we did this was I think this was pre-covered we did work with a teenage a group of younger people with older adults um and I’m not saying this is would
(1:04:00) happen all the time but it was not successful there was not um a typical language barrier but it was kind of they didn’t connect there was uh there was a lot of teenage slumping and sort of not really being as engaged as we were kind of hoping they would be um but that’s that was one time so that was kind of where my head went to and we would certainly do a technology clinic in a group setting with with um high school students I think that would be fine but in home I think we would use our own volunteers who have
(1:04:39) been background checked and you know set up and and I think I think people would feel more comfortable with that I think that’s what you were talking about I think that’s what your question was idea Carolyn is I’ve had volunteers from like nursing schools like Bethel University who already have ran background checks on these nursing students um you know I also thought of because in the past I’ve had um college kids that are from like they’re different groups in colleges like the Chinese students the Vietnamese
(1:05:16) students so I’ve had those students work in a group setting not in home setting um with my seniors so every college has these groups um but um in terms of background checks yeah I you know the nursing nursing students would have that um back on check already and they do they are required um so many hours of one-on-one um of of time volunteering but that would be my concern is if we’re sending you know kids into the home or without background checks but background checks doesn’t prevent abuse either yeah I would Echo that I um I’ve had
(1:06:06) some experience we work with students from St Mary’s because they were across the street from my campus and so we did a lot with them with their marriage and family therapies interns and different things but depending on the organization so again I know you’re talking sometimes it’s an independent apartment so I want to get to that too but like depending on the if you’re working with a partner you know they likely are going to want to filter them through their volunteer department that’s what we did at Ebenezer so they
(1:06:33) would go through an orientation and a background and some light stuff to make sure they’ve been we checked the boxes they could safely be on campus to help with whatever probably trained or some kind of proof that they’re there’s some orientation around working with seniors and that they’re they’re a good candidate and we have a volunteer department for that um but the the the issue there is you’re hoping then that person if you’re going to put that work in for them to volunteer that they’re not just
(1:07:00) volunteering for the week and then they’re never going to see them again because it’s a lot of energy right and time and other resources so you’re looking them for that hopeful someone is going to be on a returning basis and play a role so you’re training them and everyone wants retention right so but that is a consideration and I think the same goes for those apartment settings uh in terms of what what processes you can put in place that there’s some vulnerable adult training there’s some
(1:07:29) um oversight and then uh understanding this is a the purpose behind it they’re volunteering for this with good you know faith and you can train them what is that that oversight or um redundancy piece where some supervisory role is playing a role whether they’re going with them so they can observe for the first opportunities whether it’s they do check-ins with that senior um one of the things I know will probably get to this but on the survey that I threw out was the idea of a phone a friend kind of
(1:08:03) connection right whether it be with a volunteer like that or with other seniors who have really excelled with their technology as an opportunity I mean that could be a safe way for some light troubleshooting or training that doesn’t need to be in person so just food for thought but yeah I think you’re you’re wise to be headed out I think um institutions like the schools are good opportunity just because they’re going to understand there’s um a need for that versus just kind of the sometimes the wild west of the
(1:08:37) general public recruitment okay well thank you all for your input and stories of experience around that I know that those were some of my concerns as I think about um you know next steps and how we would expand um support for folks but um I mean don’t get me wrong I love like the intergenerational um programming ideas but as far as like realistically initially at least getting someone set up connected to internet all that stuff has to be in person possibly by um a paid and it could be through one of these programs like a consistent person
(1:09:16) and then you could have like a kind of like um you know tech support could be dialed in and maybe use some intergenerational that way but even to have like pop-up clinics at places like Ebenezer and stuff I think there’s you know like he mentioned there’s still training and background checks and stuff like that so just it makes it a little um problematic unless you’re at a community center that’s kind of open and again that’s people that can travel right that’s people that can show up to
(1:09:46) something and we’re talking more like the folks that are like super isolated okay sorry Don I we should probably move on but thank you for your input everyone yeah thank you um so we you know as is common whenever I do a session or facilitate I have a lot more material than what we have time all right uh and so so I I do want to I would I do want to drill in and and continue this discussion and continue getting this Insight so let me let me Jump Ahead in our slide deck and and I want to go to you know just just to
(1:10:26) remind ourselves of of what what we’re trying to do with gifts for seniors and so on this slide um I I just put together just a very brief summary timeline of what happens with the tablets right and and if you notice on step one right where we have the acquirer set up and deliver you know as as gifts for seniors has worked to deliver tablets to seniors they have focused primarily on step one right that’s been the primary focus and then as the tablets have been delivered then they have been counting on their
(1:11:18) Partners the gifts for seniors Partners or other organizations to do step two and step three step two might be the configure and the initial training and step three would be the support and ongoing growth with that with that technology and and so what this is this is the summary this is the one page summary of the gifts for seniors project is is looking to expand gifts for seniors in order to move into steps two and three um the config might mean you know something that Chris said that kind of resonated with me you know if if an
(1:11:58) older adult has a passion or if they have a hobby you know how do we configure that tablet you know to perhaps provide meaningful information to that senior if if they’re interested in um uh you know some some specific activity you know how do we provide that that personal that local configuration how do we train right on the basic tools uh how do we support and how do we grow um now this is a this is overused you know we have used the spin-legged stool previously you know to talk about devices and internet access and skills
(1:12:37) and and in this particular case you know as as as we have talked with you know Carolyn and gifts for seniors you know folks you know we we kind of suggest that the skills program this growth program also has Studio likes to it and that that we’re talking about um you know with funding that gifts for seniors would be able to bring on some staffing and and the staff you know we might call that a coordinator it might be a navigator but this would be a person that would manage requests coordinate volunteers right that work in
(1:13:16) in the the you know the program and and then also deliver and coordinate on the setup the training and support all right so there is a there is a staff component that I think we’re looking for as as we grow the program second part is what I call self-study plans um and and this might start out with all right so when the tablet is delivered um that there be some printed guides right that that um these older adults would be able to read and then at the same time perhaps there are other online study and lesson
(1:13:58) tools that could be delivered via a website or an app there are curated lessons that are created by other organizations I want to talk about more about that in just a second here um and then we we use these um these self-study plans in order to supplement you know the training that that we we we might pursue now I want to plant another seed with this here in just a second um but I did want to propose that you know you know in the survey you know that that we did for this meeting everybody responded positively to the fact that some in-person
(1:14:44) training is going to be necessary all right and so I don’t think there’s any you know reasonable um notion that an online training program is going to fit the picture all right it’s just not going to fit the picture all right however what we can do I I did some prototyping myself you know we’re working with the fire tablets here and and it is possible for us to place install an application onto the Fire tablet that would be specific to yes for seniors that would get it’s learning content from a website
(1:15:35) that we could change and we could keep developing and we could grow and then within that app you know there might be some opportunity to prevent to present you know video instruction for these seniors right so now let’s let’s you know let’s take the discussion that we’ve had at this point and we say Okay so let’s assume that this online work can’t work Standalone right but maybe this is a strategy maybe we think of this strategy as a way of coordinating the efforts of volunteers right so so we still work with
(1:16:19) volunteers or other in person resources and and we use you know we use this online tools online learning in order to you know coordinate the activity and provide something that would still be available once that volunteer has left the room all right now I want to come back and I want to get some insight you know from from this group on this too I’m going to go here in that in the three-legged stool um I I think we’re talking about with gifts for seniors that a volunteer network coordinated by gifts for seniors could
(1:17:02) provide some of this custom setup configuration work you know could provide you know personalized one-on-one training and provide some support okay and so with that oh I want to I want to go back to this for a second and so with that you know we’re talking about really a blended learning program where these older adults getting their brand new tablets might be able to number one get some direct one-on-one help with the tablets that could be supplemented by um online learning programs that comes in the form of printed materials I guess
(1:17:46) that’s not similar online but we have printed materials and then we have learning programs that come directly on the tablets tablets so we don’t have to navigate to that you know there’s here’s an icon for the gifts for seniors Learning Center right on the front screen of the tablet that could then be used to um you know to supplement the work of a volunteer or other training all right so now let’s pause for a second and get some insights on that does that what does that feel like the problem with that done is when we
(1:18:30) did that we you know we every week it was um trying to solve how to reconnect them to the Wi-Fi network yeah so it could be like very simple basic things that they need help with and with these tablets already be Wi-Fi enabled or do they have to connect to their home Wi-Fi and if they don’t have home Wi-Fi what happens then yeah so I I think you know a point well taken and I’ve we’ve heard that comment before that the Wi-Fi connection is well number one it’s key um but it it can be problematic too
(1:19:11) um you know I think that that we’re hoping that with the affordable connectivity program federally funded you know that that number one we’re going to be able to you know to get everybody Wi-Fi uh hopefully for free right and that you know that we are able to you know personalize the setup right so that we have the Wi-Fi connection so it’s not to say there aren’t going to be problems you know after after everything is said you know after everything is set up but but hopefully that that will enable the the online component so it’s
(1:19:48) not perfect um so when we set up the fire tablets for our people we actually had to um well I did I had to create um like an email that I helped manage and then because you can’t log on to the Fire tablet without an email that’s right and then so you have to create an email and then I um so I kept all their passwords and so every week when we went back and they had an issue of connecting that’s we had to go back to that spreadsheet to to get it but it was you know once they were set up and they learned how to do it was fine but
(1:20:30) um it was the basic stuff that we had a lot of trouble with and many weeks of just being there and helping them it’s it’s a challenging area no I I agree when particularly when you’re getting into logins and passwords right for this community it is it is a very challenging area um um you know and I guess the best that we can do and hope for is that we we get it set up as completely as we can all right you know for you know personalized as much as we can for the individual and and then then let her go
(1:21:05) from there other thoughts and you can set it up without putting a credit that’s what I did yeah yes yes you can um and and you have the whole issue of you know the registration with Amazon on the fire tablets um you have um you know and even if you know I you know what what I hear is that that not that many people had email addresses right as an example and and and so that that’s another element of you know of the setup that’s concerned good other thoughts I think that the plan sounds good I mean once everybody’s gonna have everybody’s
(1:21:51) gonna have to get over the barriers of the Broadband but you know assuming that that works and once people are set up I think that there should be multiple ways for people to learn I think it’s hard to learn if all you have is the tablet and the um the tutorial or you know the information’s on the tablet it’s hard to look at it and do it at the same time but I I don’t know a better way I guess you can just print things out um yeah that’s that’s where the that’s where the idea of the printed materials
(1:22:23) you know maybe plays a role right in here too yeah I thought that um when we you did the fire tablets however many years ago that was um it’s changed quite a bit since then we have more clients now who are familiar with um they have email addresses now they are familiar with the internet um it’s not perfect but um I think it’s changed enough so that it might be more successful with the training we didn’t when we did it we didn’t we didn’t really have a system in place um for Lending out the fire tablets I
(1:23:05) didn’t know how to use them or set them up we had to go with a volunteer who had some technical expertise um and we’re not dealing with people all in one place so um that made it a little bit tricky um so I think things have changed enough so that training in person certainly would help handouts are great um and not too simple you don’t want to infant and we don’t want to baby anybody but we want it to be um clear and even like what do you do if you can’t get get Wi-Fi that kind of thing and then
(1:23:41) um I think that the the uh the guide on the the gifts for senior guide is is a great way the um one thing that becomes frustrating sometimes is and I’m using my mother as an example uh is that using technology she might have the same question over and over again if she could learn how to use tutorials I think she would feel more confident about what she’s doing she could get what she needs online instead of panicking and and calling one of us to figure out what it is so I think anything where it’s an easy format uh
(1:24:28) video for for somebody to watch that it helps guide guide the process is a great idea so I like all three ideas put together okay okay good well we are you know we are close to running out of our time and we want to be respectful of of of the time that you have have given you know to us in this effort um you know the conversation doesn’t have to stop you know when when the meeting ends you know and uh and and so maybe maybe our best strategy is to you know is to keep our our email group going and let’s see if if there’s an
(1:25:06) opportunity for us to you know to continue the the conversation um I I’d like to in our last couple of minutes here I’d I’d like to just turn it over to Carolyn to um just you know kind of wrap up and uh and talk a little bit about what’s next so Carolyn do you wanna you wanna wrap us up yeah sure well obviously um again I just super grateful for your time and for your commitment for these meetings and super thrilled that Julia could could make this last this one because I know that you have so much
(1:25:42) insight to share as well um so yeah we’ll definitely keep the conversation going I hope it’s okay that I reach out to some of you even after this is over next steps we are we did just send out to our partner agencies something very specific on tablets for seniors as well as put something on social media the real genuine one for all of our supporters to collect more data and we’re submitting all of your Insight stories and these these survey results to the state to help inform um their plan and then we look forward
(1:26:18) to the the comment period I guess because we can once that’s put forth the draft is put forth we have time to provide additional input before it’s finalized and sent up to the feds so um I’m just grateful for this group of folks that came together to try to have some influence over um you know the state’s plans and I I hope that we’ll be able to make some of these dreams come to fruition so again I might just reach out for additional advice from some of you or or have some more one-on-one discussions as we get to
(1:26:54) the next phase of this step so um just super grateful we all have a nice thank you coming your way thank you for participating and I look forward to continuing the conversation just want to be respectful of everybody’s time so sorry that we were rushed on the end here but um and thanks Don and Patsy for going above and beyond as well and just really putting in that extra support around what we’re trying to accomplish here super grateful okay thank you thank you everybody bye bye okay okay start with an interactive book it was an
(1:27:48) interesting group yeah yeah I mean we didn’t go through um well here I’ll open it up we didn’t get to go through the slides but I I you know we can certainly send if we have more questions Don yeah or things we want to share you know we can certainly send that still I’m sure but yeah that’s what I was thinking so um but I think I think we um I I think we we got some nice Insight why I mean there’s a couple of big takeaways from today I think the the intergenerational aspect is very very interesting with the
(1:28:25) asterisk by what we’re talking about um the background checks and and the availability of that that that’s a bit of a challenge um you know another another big Takeaway on was you know some kind of Blended approach I mean that’s that’s obvious all right there’s there’s no single method that that’s going to work for us um and so that’s that’s key and it’s fun to hear Chris it’s it’s fun to hear somebody who can you know who has this breath of experience he just pulls out
(1:28:55) name and research out of his back pocket like it’s you know like he’s got Wikipedia sitting you know sitting on the side so that would that was really fun yeah but I was actually impressed that I knew about every organization that he mentioned so I feel like we’re we’re getting there as far as knowing you know because we don’t need to reinvent the wheel as far as trying to find some best practices adopting other people’s um you know setups and approach um to these things um you know Paul was texting me directly
(1:29:28) about that ACP stuff the affordable connectivity program and what I found out because I emailed one of the people directly on the that National lift serve the ndia about how they funded their ACP coordinator position and it was through the Feds that FCC money but it’s spend and reimburse it’s not a grant up front and I cannot like hire and make a financial commitment to not get paid back until months later so that’s that’s very worrisome to me to try to think that we’re going to rely on the ACP to get people connected to the
(1:30:08) internet and to fund you know the the work that needs to take place and then he’s um you know because he said that they’re putting the Sims in the tablets and um that way you don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi because it’s like having it on your phone right then you don’t have to do it through the house or whatever which sounds lovely but you know we would need them to give that possibility to us for us to give those tablets to the seniors you know they’re getting free tablets and free Wi-Fi because do the feds also
(1:30:43) pay for the internet service then I that must be what they’re doing and it’s confusing to me because what’s you know what’s in it for these carriers well they’re getting paid double they’re getting paid for the service because it’s like a sliding fee schedule or whatever depending on your income and then they’re getting paid to connect people so I mean I I love you know all the ideas but when you get really down to like the practicality of what our reality is and how would we roll this
(1:31:22) out to connect to the most isolated people it all comes back to grant money and you need a paid staff person to coordinate all this do background checks um train people set things up you know and and that’s where I’m getting frustrated and I love the intergenerational piece don’t get me wrong I love it but I don’t think for what we’re doing it’s gonna work you know you need someone that’s going to be there more than a one-off volunteer program you know what I mean and all of that has changed their
(1:31:55) Hands-On and and that’s where some of the they’re almost like an internship where they have to commit to nine months working with a thing a nine months or a year so it’s it’s for a longer period because otherwise it’s not worth the time and energy you’re putting into it and it’s a relationship based thing to try to help that scene and really get up and running they have to get to a trust point where you know so right that’s where that’s why when I brought up like the OJT program
(1:32:30) they have to commit for the whole school year and Beyond um and it’s there is supervision there are background checks there you know there’s some components to it but you really do have to be careful about that uh and and you’re working with lower income folks and that’s a whole different animal or a lot of folks to get comfortable and be comfortable knowing what to do and how to do that well my biggest fear is the liability piece like she said you can do a background check but there’s still abuse
(1:33:07) yeah yeah and um and thanks for the reminder about building in Social time when we block out you know what it would cost to send someone in to connect a socially yeah because that is a critical part of it it really is um because it’s about that connection and relationship the tests the tasks really become kind of in you know but it really is crucial and it makes a huge difference but you do have to build that in and help whoever that volunteers really know that that is an expectation and so they’re not feeling pressure just
(1:33:48) to run through something quickly and get out the door right yeah yeah anyways lots to think about but I guess we all need to tackle that until we get the money so it’s it’s a challenging one yes okay but JT for sure is definitely something to look at with Americorps and stuff like that I mean I’d like I said I’d like to have just a paid program coordinator but um we can explore those other options in the meantime we’re going to move forward with setting you know figuring out what that setup procedure will be because
(1:34:32) that’s something that anybody can volunteer to do sure um and get the website started and and then once we can get some funding in the door for one-on-one support we’ll move forward yeah but um thanks again Don I mean you’ve really just had done the heavy lift on this and Patsy because you’re such a wonderful and experienced facilitator I’m I’m grateful you stepped into so thank you yeah well guys um I’ll be in town on Wednesday so if you have time on on Wednesday afternoon yeah okay we can we can connect and
(1:35:15) see what else we can figure out that Patsy can do yeah well I don’t know if she’s she she’s still helping I mean I know I can always call them I’m just kidding at a minimum but um what was I gonna say oh the survey stuff hopefully will be rolling in over the next week someone’s rolled in already okay and then next week um you know we got to figure out how to get everything submitted by the 30th so yeah and uh um how many days do you think we’ll need to work on that I don’t think I’m headed out of town on
(1:35:56) Friday for the Fourth of July weekend so I guess all right I’d like to try to get everything submitted by end of day Thursday if possible okay all right let’s shoot for that okay okay thank you guys all right great work best wishes for you all right all right thank you all righty guys take care bye-bye bye

Video Recording – Meeting #3  June 19, 2023

The Gifts for Seniors Digital Connection Committee

The GFS Digital Connection Committee was formed with support from MN DEED’s Office of Broadband Development.  The Office of Broadband Development has award a mini-grant to GFS which it will use to gather information about local digital inclusion strengths, needs, and goals.  In addition to the work of the DCC, Gifts for Seniors will be surveying users, organization partners and the general public to create a portfolio of information and data that will be shared with the Office of Broadband Development.  This information will be used to shape Minnesota’s digital equity plan for 2024. 

Click the button below to learn more about the Digital Inclusion program from the State of Minnesota.