How GetSetUp Empowers Older Adults to Learn Technology
Judy’s Story of Mental and Physical Benefits Through Navigating Technology from Home
Judy, a retired Northwest Airlines employee of 17 years who lives in the Minneapolis suburbs, feels more excited about the GetSetUp website than she has in a long time. She first heard about GetSetUp through SilverSneakers, which is offered through her insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and was immediately drawn to the platform.
"It is exactly what I'm looking for. As a senior, I felt intimidated by things like technology, plus I also think you feel isolated as a senior. All of a sudden, there was an avenue for learning and activities I could do right out of my own home," says Judy.
GetSetUp offers a diverse range of classes that cover a variety of topics, including technology, fitness, and enrichment. Even though Judy thought she knew a lot about her iPhone and other devices, she always came away from the classes with something new to share with her loved ones.
"It's quite flattering that my daughter-in-law now comes to me to ask if I can teach her anything new on her phone. She says she didn't know many of the tips I gave her. There’s a lot of useful information young people haven’t been exposed to or don't have the time to research properly. They tend to use their phones for specific things and, like me, aren’t aware of other great tips," adds Judy.
Now Judy’s daughter-in-law tells her she can’t wait to age and retire so she has time to take classes like her on GetSetUp.
“Comments like this about learning on GetSetUp make growing old more inviting as opposed to unappealing,” Judy says.
While Judy initially hoped the internet was just a fad, it soon became apparent it wasn’t. She believes that keeping up with technology is crucial, especially for older adults.
"So many things are going in that direction, and everything now seems to revolve around the internet platform. If you don't keep up with it, I think you are missing out on a lot of enriching activities, and you are also being left behind," says Judy.
The Benefits of GetSetUp
Judy has been a member of GetSetUp for about three months, and she's already scheduled 84 classes for this month alone. She's addicted to the platform and feels that it's the most interesting and exciting site she's found in years.
"GetSetUp is right up there and maybe surpasses Amazon," exclaims Judy.
Judy's favorite classes are Tai Chi with Ty Arnold and tech classes with Wade and Marge. Tai Chi was the first class she got addicted to, and now she's taking Tai Chi almost daily, Monday through Friday.
She also appreciates the community at GetSetUp, where she recognizes regular learners and TAs across different classes with similar interests.
"I feel like I most benefit mentally from the classes. They are keeping my mind sharp, and the relaxation techniques are helping me stay in the moment and be more mindful. It's great to learn new techniques to stay calm and alleviate stress," adds Judy.
Tai Chi, Tech, and More
Judy enjoys her Tai Chi classes with Guide Ty because she finds him patient and accepting of individual techniques. He has a soothing style that responds to every student’s needs. Although Senior Planet also offers Tai Chi, Judy prefers Ty's teaching over anyone else.
Wade is another favorite. His vast comprehension of technology has been both beneficial and enlightening. He hosts several classes a week on both Google and Apple products. In addition, his Tech Office Hours classes, where he answers any questions a learner has on Friday mornings, have become an invaluable source of information for her.
Classes have also helped her learn more about new products she might not normally be exposed to. Judy is mostly an Apple product user, but she recently took a class on Alexa with Wade and was floored by all the different features. She now uses Alexa as an alarm clock, to set reminders and to provide her with information. Plus, when she realized all the potential uses, she tested them out at home. Then she even ordered another Echo Dot. She believes that older adults can benefit significantly from learning about technology and keeping up with the times.
“After the pandemic, a lot of what I was looking for were ways that felt safer to learn and interact. Through GetSetUp, I could satisfy this need any time of the day and keep my mind sharp. Plus I’m learning so much more about technology, and that makes me feel safer about navigating the internet,” says Judy.
Judy also enjoys learning technology with Marge and Cyndi. She appreciates their expertise yet laid-back and intellectual approach. The knowledge they share has become something she depends upon in her everyday life.
Each guide sends out class notes once the class has been completed. This is one of Judy’s favorite features. Because their notes will always be available for review, it allows her to focus on the class content instead of dividing her attention towards taking her own individual notes while the class is taking place. The notes also become something she refers back to regularly.
The Convenience of Learning from Home
Judy loves the convenience of learning from home. She finds going to health clubs can sometimes be detrimental to her health, as many people are not mindful of health procedures or do not clean the machines. Therefore, she prefers doing fitness in her own home, where she feels safer but still gets health benefits.
As she says, "It is important for seniors to be able to learn and evolve over time. Otherwise, we get lost and don't feel a significant part of this world."
Despite being retired for 17 years from her job at Northwest Airlines, Judy and her husband still enjoy traveling. However, they now prefer to take road trips instead of flying so as to experience more of this beautiful country. They also prioritize their health and safety by doing exercise classes at home instead of going to the gym. It’s easier to continue this consistency than when they are on the road when it is virtual classes instead of in-person classes.
Judy is a huge fan of GetSetUp and recommends it to everyone she talks to. She's amazed at how much she's learned and how accessible it is, especially for people who may feel isolated and intimidated by technology. She found the site easy to comprehend and get around.
She concludes, "I feel like it has drastically enriched my life and made everything so accessible. I'm eternally grateful to have this opportunity, and it's free. I absolutely love this website and I've told everyone that will listen about GetSetUp."