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Workshop exposes seniors to technology trends and everyday living

Published: 02/12/2013 12:24PM
By: booner


At Fort Valley State University, Shirlee Kempf-Symicek tries the latest hearing aid technology with help from Kay McGill, manager of Georgia Vision Program for Seniors, at a Senior Enrichment Workshop Feb. 7.

iPhones, iPads, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other programs or devices associated with the digital age are prevalent in today’s society. While it is common to see young people using such devices to communicate, the young-at-heart may need some assistance getting used to the latest technology.

At Fort Valley State University on Feb. 7, more than 175 senior citizens picked up valuable information about how to use such devices and programs by participating in the Senior Enrichment Workshop sponsored by the university’s Cooperative Extension Program.

“The purpose of this event is to educate and inform our local clientele, senior citizens and their caretakers of up-to-date information on the hot topics that are out there in the media,” said Kena Torbert, who coordinated the event at the Pettigrew Center.

Topics covered included how to use the latest technology to take advantage of social media, healthy eating and cooking, and available aids to help the vision and hearing impaired.

During the exhibition on the latest equipment to help the hearing impaired, Shirlee Kempf-Symicek, 68, tried on an assisted listening device. She said it will help her better cope with day-to-day activities because she suffers from Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder that affects balance and hearing.

“A lot of people don’t understand, half the time I can’t hear what they are saying or it’s so jumbled because of the disease,” Kempf-Symicek said. “That device really helped me hear better.”

She also said she learned a lot of information from the presentations dealing with social media, and she says she hopes to enroll in FVSU as a student soon.

The Fort Valley native and retired professional photographer said she enjoyed the event and would tell anyone they should attend a future workshop.

In addition to giving out information to seniors, Torbert also said the workshop gives seniors a chance to get out of the house, meet other people and get acquainted with different organizations.

“Fort Valley State’s Cooperative Extension Program is here for the community,” Torbert said. “This is what we do, provide for the community.”

For more information, contact Kena Torbert at 478-825-6573 or torbertk@fvsu.edu.