Teens empowering seniors with social media skills


ISSAQUAH, Wash. – Anne Novak is nearing 95, and doing something she’s never done.

“I have never used a computer before,” Novak said.

Novak is now video chatting with her daughter in Montana from her retirement community in Issaquah.

Teenagers are teaching seniors in the Spiritwood Skyper’s Club the basics of social media.

Skype and Facebook were foreign to them, but Spiritwood is trying to keep senior’s brains active, and families connected.

Otto Henn is 100 years old, and struggled a little to keep up the conversation with his great grandson.

“My hearing has not only diminished, but it’s also slowed down,” Hein said. “While you’re on the end of the sentence, I’m still working on the beginning.”

Some of the residents were initially hesitant, after all these new fandangled computers weren’t around when they were kids. Novak didn’t even have radio.

“How many people do you know who are over a 100 years old?” Hein added.

As families become busier, and these Skyping seniors become less mobile, social media erases some of the loneliness.