Finding a Sense of Community and Connection Through GetSetUp
The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Retirees: A Look at Connie's Story
Connie, a lifelong learner from southeastern Michigan, has found a new way to continue her education and engage with the community through GetSetUp, a platform that offers classes and community sessions for older adults. Thanks to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Connie, like all older adult residents in Michigan, has access to these classes free of charge.
As a recent retiree, Connie sought ways to balance her newfound free time without committing to lengthy courses or spending a lot of money. She discovered GetSetUp after reading an article in her local newspaper. She was drawn to the platform's flexible schedule and variety of class offerings.
"I'm a lifelong learner and didn't want to sign up for a 12-week course. The small chunks of information and projects to do for free on GetSetUp with no big commitment were perfect for me," Connie shared.
Connie's background is in the medical field as a physician documentation educator and medical coder. She has found that the technology classes on GetSetUp, which cover topics such as using iPads, iPhones, and Alexa, have been particularly helpful in improving her technological proficiency.
"I'm much better with Zoom than before, so that's good. Plus, I have learned some crafting things that I never would have thought of, much less tried without these classes," she says.
From tech to crafts there's something for everyone
Connie has taken a variety of classes on GetSetUp, including recycled crafts, gardening, trivia, and historical topics. She prefers to watch classes at her own pace and set reminders for upcoming classes when she is on the go and can’t make video sessions. However, she also values entering the classes through video to engage with the community and chat with the Guides.
"Classes improve my mood, even if I’m not signing up for them to learn a specific skill. The classes lift my spirits through engaging with the community and the great chitchats. The emotional and mental aspects are always great,” Connie says.
As a lover of new experiences with a desire to try new things, Connie appreciates the flexibility of the platform. GetSetUp allows her to learn about a wide variety of subjects and try new crafting projects without committing a lot of money or materials. She has even been inspired to look up more information on some of the topics covered in classes at her local library.
"I have found some subjects, countries, and history that just by seeing enough to pique my interest on GetSetUp, I have gone on and gotten books out of the library or looked up things on the internet to learn more about them. So in a lot of ways it has been great for fostering my love of learning new things across a variety of topics," Connie shares.
Global connections right from your living room
Despite being active and not feeling lonely, Connie appreciates the sense of community and connection that she has found on GetSetUp. She has made acquaintances with some of the Teaching Assistants and regular Learners. She enjoys being recognized by them and chatting with them when she sees them in classes again.
"It's nice to be recognized that way, especially because GetSetUp has people from all over the world, so it's fun," she says.
Connie is a big fan of GetSetUp and encourages others to give it a try. She believes the platform would benefit from more promotion, such as featuring it on the local morning TV shows.
"Lots of seniors I know watch those programs, and 2 minutes on the program, would be very informative. I have really encouraged people to use GetSetUp because I find it so fun. You can learn so many different things whether it's cooking, crafts, or exercises," she suggests.
Overall, Connie has found GetSetUp to be a valuable resource for continuing her education, trying new things, and engaging with a supportive community.
“I love GetSetUp. I love being able to see that at every hour, there is a wide variety of classes I can choose from to explore, from exercise to mindfulness or a community group. There are so many options. So whenever I don’t want to watch TV, I know I can find something on GetSetUp that will be interesting.”
As she continues to enjoy her retirement, she looks forward to exploring more of the classes and community sessions offered on the platform.