Seniors class explains tablet technology

The Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala is helping older adults learn to use computers.


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Posted October 20, 2022 | By Eadie Sickler
Special to Gazette

The Senior Resource Foundation of Ocala (SRF) is dedicated to refining, enhancing and enriching the lives of older adults. One of the organization’s projects is introducing seniors to technology.

On Friday, Oct. 14, at the Magnolia Walk Apartments complex in Ocala, SRF founder Phyllis Silverman spoke to a group of class members who will be learning to use tablet computers.

“We are trying to develop relationships with our seniors. We acknowledge seniors are a part of what is going on. We are not our grandmothers,” Silverman emphasized in her introduction.

A tablet computer, complete with a case, carrying bag, C-cord and screen cleaner, was provided to each enrollee in the three-part training class.

“This will open up the world to you,” Silverman enthused. “On this tablet, you will be able to surf the internet for almost anything you want to know. You can read books or listen to audible ones, take pictures, have face-to-face conversations with family and friends through the Skype availability—and it’s all for free.”

The tablets were provided through a partnership with the foundation and Florida Blue, a Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company, which also provided a gift bag for each class participant. Abby Mancuso, a Florida Blue agent, presented the tablets.

The tablets will be used in two additional classes to help the seniors become savvy internet users with this medium.

“We want to break down barriers that present seniors from living their best life,” said Beth Nelson, representing United Way of Marion County, and one of the instructors for the classes, along with Herb Silverman, the son of Phyllis Silverman and webmaster of the Senior Resource Foundation.

“We want you to learn to use this tablet to do whatever you want. I want you to be extremely comfortable with this,” he told the students.

The SRF is a nonprofit organization and sponsors fundraisers throughout the year to advance various charities in Ocala/Marion County. Last year, SRF contributed $3,000 to the Meals on Wheels program and another $3,000 to animal rescue initiatives.

Phyllis Silverman said that this year’s “Bark in the Park” fundraiser, which took place Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Ocala Downtown Market, was “a huge success and will enable us to give even more to those charities this year.”

Some dogs were even adopted during the event, she said.

“Not one cent is kept by the foundation. It all goes to the charities chosen,” she stated.

The next big activity hosted by the SRF will be an ”Extreme Adventure” on March 22, 2023, at the Central College of Florida.

“It will be an expo for active seniors, who will have opportunity to learn about various sports and activities available in this area, including scuba diving, zip lining, dancing, archery, biking and martial arts, to name a few,” Silverman shared.

The beneficiary of the fundraiser will be the Boys & Girls Clubs of Marion County.

Another project of the foundation has been to print and distribute 600 informational booklets that list many of the senior services available in the area, including telephone numbers for the agencies.

“You can’t find these numbers in the phone books anymore,” Silverman said.

To learn more about the foundation, go to srfofocala.org or call (352) 550-4876.