Caption: Mdm Boo (on the smart phone) chatting via WhatsApp video call with Mdm Soo Lin from TSAC
75-year-old Mdm Boo Sai Kiao from TOUCH Senior Activity Centre (TSAC) has never been so chatty. Ever since she attended the smart phone training by Youth Corps' volunteers under the Infocomm Media Development Authority's Mobile Access for Seniors programme, she spends her time catching up with friends from TSAC at Yishun 162 through video calls and researching on her favourite cooking recipes on YouTube.
“It’s good that we get to practice what we have learnt in real life! What helps is I don’t feel shy to ask my friends on our own chatgroup, where we can post photos and share about what we are doing. We also alert one another if we come across any fake news,” said Mdm Boo.
Caption: Mdm Boo (first from right) with staff and seniors from TSAC enjoying a Wefie session
During the pandemic outbreak, seniors staying alone with no or little social support and with higher care needs have to be monitored. To mitigate the impact of loneliness and social isolation, TOUCH staff have accelerated efforts to upskill seniors’ digital skills and encourage them to come on board its activities on virtual platforms to stay physically and mentally fit. Seeing their friends going digital and engaging in meaningful activities have prompted more to join in. Some seniors have also expressed interest in owning a smartphone during this period.
“We find ourselves using our smart phones more often during this Covid-19 pandemic. Now, even as we have entered Phase 3, we are still using video calls to call one another. After using it a few times, it’s not hard at all! I also use my tablet to play games. I have learnt so much about what’s happening around me and the world from reading news from credible sources, “ added Mdm Boo.