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Helping Older Adults Learn Computer Skills and Find Reliable Online Health Information
The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has published a tool kit to be used by trainers to teach older adults computer skills and how to find health information online. The tool kit contains lesson plans that include tips on working with older adult learners in a classroom, a curriculum to follow that can be modified for different skill levels, handouts, and promotional materials.
Whether you are planning to organize and conduct a senior learning event, or are looking for some tips for yourself or to help Mom or Dad, the website includes some valuable information. The featured websites have audio and video enhancements to assist older adults who have vision and hearing problems or difficulty reading.
The added benefit of having a class that isn't mentioned in the material, is that it provides an opportunity for seniors to socialize with other seniors in a structured activity and a positive setting. The access to health information could be motivation for some seniors to learn computer skills who wouldn't otherwise be inclined to learn. It might also be a way to help them better care for themselves, save on medical expenses, improve self esteem, and gain a sense of self efficacy.
Many community centers, YMCAs, schools, businesses, community colleges, and employment offices have classrooms with computers that are already being used for other purposes. Perhaps these could be made available to a senior group. There are many students looking for ideas for a school project, social service agencies looking for ways to promote wellness, activity directors looking for new activities, and retired teachers looking for a way to contribute to their community. Click on the links below to learn more about teaching a class on computer skills and online health information, or to find helpful websites with reliable health information for older adults.
- Introducing the Toolkit
a video presentation introducing the tool kit
Lesson Plan and Training Tools
- NIHSeniorHealth: Toolkit for Trainers
Lesson Plan and Training Tools
NIH Senior Health Home Page
- NIHSeniorHealth Home Page
Welcome to NIHSeniorHealth. This easy-to-use website features basic health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health. Use the buttons at the top of each page to make the text bigger, change text color, or hear t
Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults
- NIHSeniorHealth: Exercise and Physical Activity for Older Adults - Table of contents
an example of a link from the NIH Senior Health homepage by clicking on "E" for "exercise."
Medline Plus Health Information
- MedlinePlus Health Information from the National Library of Medicine
Health Topics, Drugs and Supplements, Encyclopedia, Dictionary, News and More.
Computer Use and Exercise May Save Memory
- WebMD article on computer use, exercise and memory
Add some exercise to computer skills training as a way to save memory.