The Malta Independent 26 February 2024, Monday
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Empowering senior citizens in the digital world

Sunday, 11 February 2024, 08:40 Last update: about 16 days ago

Learning digital skills has become essential for people of all ages, including older people, in an era of digitalisation. Digital literacy is a powerful tool, enabling seniors to connect, engage and access many opportunities that significantly enhance their quality of life.

Primarily, digital skills play a pivotal role in fostering social connections among older people, transcending geographical distances. Video calls, social media platforms and messaging apps become conduits for meaningful interactions, effectively reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

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Furthermore, accessing online information and services opens a world of knowledge and resources for seniors. Staying informed about health, wellness and current events becomes seamless. Online shopping and banking are designed for convenience, especially for those with limited mobility, ensuring they can meet their necessities from the comfort of their homes.

Cognitive stimulation is another crucial aspect of digital literacy for seniors. Learning to use devices, exploring applications and engaging with online content contribute to mental agility and lifelong learning. This continuous mental activity is directly associated with improved cognitive health among older people.

As we witness the digital transformation sweeping through various facets of life, we cannot overstate the importance of digital skills for older people. It is a skill and the key to independence, social connection and active participation in the modern world. Embracing digital literacy becomes a gateway to a more inclusive and enriched life for our senior citizens.

In line with this perspective, on 25 January, the eSkills Malta Foundation and the Foundation of Global Human Dignity collaborated to create a special event at Golden Care Home in Naxxar that left a positive impact. With a group of around 12 enthusiastic participants, the session aimed to bridge the digital gap for older adults, fostering confidence and empowerment.

The event commenced with moving narratives from two older adults who graciously shared their experiences in both Maltese and English. These personal stories set the tone for a session concentrating on technology's practical applications in everyday life.

During the informative section, participants delved into the vast digital landscape. The exploration began with an introduction to Google, uncovering its utility in maps, calendars and photo management. The spotlight then shifted to WhatsApp, a powerful tool for connecting with loved ones, and the session concluded with an exploration of YouTube as a virtual library offering knowledge.

Navigating the complexities of mobile phones became more manageable as participants learned the essentials of making calls and sending messages. This simplified approach aimed to instil confidence in utilising this ubiquitous device.

The event took an engaging turn with interactive activities. Kahoot, a lively quiz-style game, brought an element of friendly competition. At the same time, Wonder of Words (WoW) challenged participants with a word game designed to keep minds sharp and entertained.

As the event drew close, organisers encouraged an open forum for questions, assuring participants that there were only correct questions. The wrap-up also conveyed a message of hope, encouraging participants to feel more confident in utilising the newly acquired digital tools.

The event aimed to impart practical digital skills, fostering a positive and enriching experience for all involved. The eSkills Malta Foundation and the Foundation of Global Human Dignity look forward to future initiatives dedicated to empowering senior citizens in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


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