The Cupertino Library Foundation has complemented their programming with GetSetUp classes for Kathy and other older adults

Liz Miller

The Cupertino Library Foundation has complemented their programming with GetSetUp classes for Kathy and other older adults

Kathy has been a resident of Cupertino, CA for the past 30 years. As an engineer who worked in the computer industry and recently retired at 65, she found she has a lot more time on her hands. She decided to spend some of it at her local Cupertino Library.

“Because of the pandemic, there are not so many activities, but I go to the library often and I attend their events.”

One of the local librarians then informed Kathy of Cupertino Library Foundation’s partnership with GetSetUp. GetSetUp offers over 500 weekly live interactive virtual classes for older adults. Class topics range from health and wellness to technology or fun hobbies. 

“GetSetUp really complements your experience at the library.”

Kathy still enjoys activities at the library such as the reading club, yet she knows it doesn’t have the bandwidth to offer the GetSetUp catalog of 1800 classes. She was pleasantly pleased to find classes about how to use her iPhone on GetSetUp.

“My schedule was simple when I worked: office, home, school, or an activity. Normally I didn’t need a smartphone, at least not until my 2 daughters went to high school. Then we needed to coordinate, so we gave them to our kids. We didn’t start using smartphones until just recently. Now we have to learn them to catch up.”

Staying connected via a smartphone allows Kathy to keep up with the most important aspect of her life - her two daughters. 

Learning how to utilizing technology devices better 

“GetSetUp is a very good program for my age. I have an iPhone but usually, I just use it as a phone and message service. I didn’t know how to do much with it even though I have had it for two years.” 

Prior to GetSetUp, Kathy would need to ask one of her daughters for help to use specific iPhone features. Thanks to her class on the iPhone she was able to learn more about the settings and some fancy features. She particularly liked learning that she could share her location and see that of her kids to know where they are. Learning these features helped her to feel more comfortable. 

It’s no surprise considering her engineering background that Kathy’s favorite classes have been focused on technology and organization. She’s taken classes on how to use excel and how to organize important documents in case of emergencies.

She’s enjoyed organizing her information digitally. Knowing technology apps helps her keep up with digital art, which her daughters work with. She's also enjoyed learning more about smart technology.

“I just learned how to project photos on the TV. We had bought a SMART TV but had limited information on how to use it. I think that usually, we have a lot of SMART equipment that we don’t really know how to use. It’s good to take a class instead of reading the manual because you can interact with the instructor and ask questions. This helps a lot.” 

Building Community

People want to build networks, especially as they age. Some people do this through religious congregations, sports, or local community centers. However, depending on your interests and where you live it can be hard to find people who share the same interests as you.

“GetSetUp is a very special community because people are curious about things. Classes try to group the interests together so people can communicate with each other based on shared passions. Plus it has people all the same age as me which is really good for me to relate to."

Kathy knows that older people like to have social environments and the pandemic has been particularly hard on them. Her mother for example is 99 and has been a bit down without as much socialization. Her mother used to attend activities and exercise programs provided by the local senior center. The center was closed due to the Covid-19 stay-at-home order. Without it, she has suffered from limited options for connection. Live interactive virtual classes can help people. They offer a safe option to feel connected especially in difficult times like the pandemic. 

Kathy is a very curious person so she’s planning to continue checking out new classes on GetSetUp like travel or craft classes. Most importantly she plans to keep up with her technology so she can chat with her daughters about these topics - as an equal - without needing them to be her tech gurus.

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The Cupertino Library Foundation has complemented their programming with GetSetUp classes for Kathy and other older adults
The Cupertino Library Foundation has complemented their programming with GetSetUp classes for Kathy and other older adults
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The Cupertino Library Foundation has complemented their programming with GetSetUp classes for Kathy and other older adults
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