Archived News Item

Seniors Get the Download from Tech Savvy Students

St Kevin’s student Benjamin Griffin teaching Mercy Place Fernhill resident Paula Burke how to use a computer


Residents at Mercy Place Fernhill are proving that you can never be too old to learn the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of the latest tech gadgets.


As part of an ongoing intergenerational program, students from St Kevin’s College visit the aged care home once a month to show residents tips and tricks for using computers, iPads, mobile phones, and all the other latest gadgets.


Students sit one-on-one with residents and work with them to improve their knowledge and use of everyday digital devices. Residents learn how to post and share a photo on Facebook, sign up to newspaper subscriptions, stream music and track the success of their favourite football team.


Mercy Place Fernhill resident Paula Burke said she was grateful for the training and now feels more confident using the internet and social media.


“The St Kevin’s students were fantastic — they were extremely patient with me. I love feeling connected to my family and friends through social media, I can read the news online and ‘surf the web’ and I’m now a lot more confident using my computer,” Ms Burke said. Mercy Place Fernhill Lifestyle Coordinator Rhea van Heeswyk said we are increasingly relying on technology to keep up with the latest news, sport and to simply connect with family and friends.


St Kevin’s student Declan Conroy teaching Mercy Place Fernhill resident Leonard Walton how to use a computer


“Our technology group with St Kevin’s College is a great opportunity for residents to learn how to use their iPads, computers and phones,” Ms van Heeswyk said.


“Through the program residents can be more connected online and quickly navigate the internet with handy shortcuts, thanks to the students.


“The experience is part of a strong intergenerational ethos we aim to foster within the home and connects residents to younger people often similar to the age of their grandchildren.”


The intergenerational program also has a positive effect on the students, providing them opportunities to engage with, learn from and share knowledge with a generation whom they may otherwise have limited contact.


Messages to: Kasey McCulloch, Mercy Health