June, a Florida resident, retired last year after working several decades as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for both domestic and international adoptions. She was going to a fitness center but to keep herself safe from COVID she stopped going. That's when she found SilverSneakers.
“SilverSneakers is great considering COVID. There are all kinds of things on their site to do virtually like yoga, circuits, and videos.”
When SilverSneakers shared that she had access to GetSetUp classes at no additional charge through her health plan, AvMed Health, she thought - gee that’s interesting!
“After so many years of working now suddenly, there are all these tech things I can learn on GetSetUp that I wish I knew while I was still working.”
June always felt like young people were given more opportunities to have tech courses. Even though she used a computer in her work, she never really felt she had the proper training to fully utilize the available technology.
“I never felt like I knew what I was doing. I just hope that it comes out all right later through trial and error.”
If June wanted to learn how to do a new tech skill often people weren’t patient to teach her. When she would ask her kids they would tell her to move over and do it for her. More often than not she wanted to learn how to do it herself, not just get it done.
“Tech classes are really great to enhance older people’s independence, so they learn how to do things for themselves.”
Plus one of the aspects she enjoys about the classes is that they are with other mature adults and taught by people of a similar age.
“I'm impressed with the classes. They aren’t that large so you feel like you can ask a question and get an answer without being embarrassed to ask a question in front of 100 people.”
Exploring her talents in retirement
Since retiring June has taken up some of her former hobbies including crocheting which she didn’t have as much time for in the past. She had learned to crochet from her mother, who gave her an afghan she made that June still has today. Her daughter asked her to make an afghan for her, so June hopped on YouTube to brush up on her crocheting skills.
She got into the rhythm of crocheting again. She thought it was fun so she started to make other things like market bags, cat balls, placemats, amigurumi wizards and dragons, and hand-crocheted dog harnesses. Her daughter's friends at Florida International University quickly put in requests for gifts for their pets and she was happy to oblige. Here is a picture of a stuffed toy she made for a friend’s cat named Whiskey.
“My daughter’s friends are encouraging me to sell my work and go into business. I’m still considering it. If I do, I will donate the proceeds to an animal shelter.”
June is taking classes with Guide Kevin on GetSetUp to learn more about starting her own business. She understands the practicality of learning skills like Canva to make her own flyers and basic tech skills.
“I took Wade’s Google classes including the beginning class for Gmail. I realized there was so much more to learn about Gmail. You think you know what you are doing, but I didn’t know about things like labels. So I went on to take the intermediary class.”
June thinks she might go back and retake the classes as well. Now that she’s not working anymore she’s not practicing her skills every day like she would at work.
“I’m probably going to have to go back and retake them until they become secondhand and easy. I'm very impressed with all the instructors and especially how Wade makes complicated things seem simple.”
June knows all about starting new projects. She’s adjusted a lot throughout her life. While she’s originally from New York she moved around the US from Chicago to California where she worked as a Registered Nurse before finally settling in Florida with her husband and three little kids.
At first, she didn’t like anything about living in Florida but once her kids were in school she proactively went after her passion by going back to school. She got a Master's degree in social work that she used to work in adoption.
“I’ve always enjoyed school, studying, and learning new things.”
One of the aspects that she enjoyed about social work was that she has a reason to learn more about people.
“I always said that social work gave me a license to be helpful and to mind other people’s business.
She’s further enjoyed the connection and socialization she’s finding in the classes.