A generation that grew up with black-and-white TV is now video chatting like teenagers. Seniors who used to watch people using video chat and wonder what it was all about are now discovering that adapting to this mode of communication is pretty simple.
Six months ago, before the coronavirus pandemic transformed our daily lives as we once knew them, getting together on Zoom would have been unthinkable. But today, Zoom is providing seniors with a feeling of satisfaction in their quest to continue to move forward and create a sense of normalcy in a time of change and uncertainty.
The Merage JCC offers daily Zoom programs in Lifelong Learning, Games, Health and Fitness, and Clubs. Our book club is now going on Zoom to engage in discussions with authors from all around the world. The need to connect is driving many seniors to do just that. During a period of isolation, utilizing technology as a catalyst to support connectedness and social inclusion is necessary to sustain a positive mental outlook.
The idea of telling yourself that Zoom is not for you because you do not possess the right skills and are afraid of technology or doing something wrong are now thoughts you must push into the background. We are in a situation that has forced us to seek a new way to interact with the world around us.
Many are getting help from friends and younger generations or agencies. The Merage JCC offers individual assistance and group classes on how to manage Zoom. The next class will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. Tasks that could easily be demonstrated in person sometimes turn into a multi-step phone conversation of talking someone through using Zoom for the first time.
Zoom is now a thing for pretty much everyone, including older adults who use it to check-in with family members, or attend book clubs, lifelong learning classes, social meetings, happy hours, fitness classes, weddings and religious ceremonies.
“In this time of isolation, being able to Zoom has opened up the opportunity to expand social and intellectual contact. Using Zoom, I can enjoy family events, mahjongg with friends, virtual world tours, fitness classes, lectures, and discussions,” said Judy Zuckerman, a member of the Merage JCC.
Zoomers have learned that this technology platform is relatively simple. Just click a link, and you will be on your way to schmoozing with others. It’s just that easy.
Geri Dorman, MS, LPCC, NCC, is the Prime Time Adult Director at the Merage JCC and a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.