How you can help silver surfers catch the waves

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There was a time, not so long ago, when web usage in the West was quite low for the over-65 demographic. But no longer, as the infographic below shows. Many of these ‘silver surfers’ are opting for tablets | more.

Studies also show that being online has big benefits for older people who live alone, as they can keep in touch with friends and family more effectively, and find online resources to help them. If they have mobility or transport issues, online shopping is also a huge boon.

  1. Older people in your church, taking up the Web for the first time, experience a steep learning curve and need encouragement. Informal classes, or one-to-one tutoring, could be a big help to them.
  2. Older people living in your community may have the same needs. Starting classes or offering one-to-one help could be a great way to connect with and serve them.
  3. Many online over-65s are on Facebook, all have email. These are valuable channels to share snippets of information and news, as well as check if they are OK and have any needs.
  4. Over-65s will likely consult the Web on age-related issues – health or loneliness for instance – and maybe also search spirituality topics. Keep a list of trustyworthy and appropriate resources to share with them.
  5. Screen-readers, magnifiers, and easy access to audiobooks are very beneficial to those with visual impairment.
  6. Age-appropriate gently evangelistic websites for over-65s are vanishingly rare, if they exist at all. This is surely a ministry opportunity. Another option would be to create a bridge-strategy portal offering a curated ‘best of’ third-party online resources of help to older people, including a spirituality section.

If you know of ministry examples or online resources in these areas, please share them in the comment section below. Check also:

Silver Surfers
Infographic source: Accredited-Online-College.org

Photo credit: wikimedia.org

This post first appeared in the BigBible blog

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