Snapchat Seniors: Bucks County’s Elderly Step Out Online

Tech Training via Bucks County Area Agency on Aging
Image via Peg Quann at Bucks County Courier Times.
Young Poremba (left) of Bristol Township gets a lesson on a tablet from Gwynedd-Mercy University student volunteer Geramy Perriman.

They may not be ready yet to tackle TikTok, but nonetheless, Bucks County senior citizens are getting schooled in how to connect digitally, writes Peg Quann for the Bucks County Courier Times

Senior citizens countywide have found themselves passing much of the pandemic alone. The closure of senior centers for safety reasons has diminished their ability to socialize. And a lack of technical skill — or even hardware itself — is making for lonely days and long nights. 

The Bucks County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is stepping into bridge seniors’ tech gaps. 

“There’s a sizeable number of seniors who don’t have technological knowledge at all,” said William McTigue, AAA deputy director for public affairs. “Isolation has become a big issue,” he commented. 

Through two pilot programs, seniors without digital hardware are being provided with laptops and tablets. They then receive 1:1 coaching. 

The tutors are volunteer students from Bucks County Community College and Gwynedd-Mercy University — late-teens and twentysomethings who seemingly have been facile with these capabilities since toddlerhood.  

Senior Patricia Bercute of Croydon spoke of how much she enjoys corresponding with distant relatives since being shown how. 

“I’m lovin’ it,” she gushed. 

Bensalem’s Pat Riffe heaped praise on her tutors, sharing, “These kids know everything. They are so patient.” 

More on this program, including reactions from the Bucks County Board of Commissioners, is at the Bucks County Courier Times. 

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