Senior Connect learner Karen Riley-Maiden has spent her life helping others in the human services sector. After retiring from her career, Karen moved from upstate New York to Round Rock, Texas, to be close to her sister. There, she quickly became involved with Senior Access — one of CTN’s nonprofit partners in Central Texas — to have help settling in. When the Senior Access staff told Karen about our collaborative Senior Connect tablet training program, she decided to give it a try.
After working in social services for decades, Karen was already familiar with the basics of computers. She uses a smartphone to keep in contact with her kids and is familiar with navigating a device. At the same time, Karen recognizes just how quickly technology can change.
The Senior Connect program helped Karen stay up to date with the digital world. The tablet provided her with easier access to her favorite tools and applications. Every month she uses video calling to connect with all her cousins for a virtual happy hour. She orders her prescriptions online and regularly has doctor appointments via telemedicine. She also likes to order groceries, watch movies, and remain connected to the world without leaving the house.
Karen quickly mastered the Senior Connect curriculum — so much so that Karen’s instructor recommended that she also become an instructor. After thinking it over, Karen decided to join the team. She has now worked with multiple other senior learners, teaching them how to access the tools of the internet and navigate a tablet. It can sometimes be a challenge to figure out how to best explain a concept and truly help someone understand. Karen’s background working with people has helped her ensure learners’ success.
“It makes me feel good to be able to do something for someone else,” reflects Karen. “Other people were there for me when I needed it. Being able to be in the position to help someone else again means a lot.”
CTN is grateful to have Karen help us train other older adults as we work together for a more digitally inclusive world!