Utica, N.Y. - A new survey by the University of Michigan of over 2,000 adults between the ages of 50 and 80 shows that overall, 42% of the participants do not have access to online systems.
That number increased to 45% for those over 65 and many seniors are hurting these days to do things like navigate the nation's vaccination process, unless they have loved ones who can help them navigate the vaccination process.
For those who don't and are now are saying to themselves, I need to get a computer and learn the basics, well, the options are limited right now because of the pandemic.
Local agencies that offer simple introduction to computer classes, specifically for seniors, aren't holding them because they can't due to the gathering guidelines due to COVID.
Places like senior centers, continuing education at local colleges and even the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement, or MVILR, have cancelled those types of in-person classes.
MVILR Board of Directors President Tom Talbot says he is usually able to help local seniors but right now there's no where for them to go for these types of classes, "You know, I just don't know. There must be, there must be something. Any kind of institution, any kind of organization like some of the senior centers, all of these places are really essentially out of business right now. We certainly are. There's just no way for us to do any classes anywhere because we don't have a venue, we don't have classrooms, we don't have anything."
We did find one class that seniors may be very interested in specifically during the pandemic.
It's a continuing education class at MVCC.
It's not an introduction to computers class, but it can make a world of difference for seniors during the pandemic.
MVCC is hosting an online class specially for seniors this weekend called Zoom for Grandparents.
It's designed to get seniors comfortable with Zoom so they can interact with family members during the pandemic, and organizers say seniors may be able to teach their kids and grandkids a few tricks after taking the class.
It's a two hour class, and it's only $29.00.
Here is a link to sign up : https://www.mvcc.edu/cced/
MVCC also has a list of other classes for seniors such as yoga and pilates and many others.