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Basic Digital Skills

Age Friendly Ireland

Age Friendly Longford

Programme: Longford

WHO Theme: Civic Participation And Employment, Communication And Information, Respect And Social Inclusion, Social Participation

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Nutrition Eating Well, Physical Activity, Positive Mental And Emotional Health, Staying Connected, Switching Off And Being Creative, Your Body Your Health

Funding Stream: Community Resilience Fund CovidHealthy Ireland FundLocal AF Programme Funding, Dormant Accounts

Resources Required: Community Support, Financial, Paid Staff, Premises, Volunteer Staff

Cost: 1000-5000


Weekly online classes teaching older people how to stay connected with friends and family, do their shopping online, download ebooks and enewspaers, magazines etc.Longford County Council in the Corporate Plan and the Local Economic and Community Plan recognizes the great diversity among older people, the importance of keeping them connected , including them in all areas of community life and helping to make our county a better place to grow older in. The Longford Age Friendly Strategy identifies the need to broaden the provision of and access to training in the use of technology for our older citizens and never was this more apparent than during Covid 19 when many of them had to cocoon and were very isolated from their families and loved ones. Longford Library have on an ongoing basis partnered with Longford ETB and Age and Opportunity Ireland in delivering basic training on internet, email, social media, apps etc. We also delivered a very successful training course for the farming community and currently have waiting lists in three branch libraries for basic digital skills training from our older citizens. Throughout Covid 19 the library kept in weekly contact with Longford Older Persons Council members, library members and members of Active Retirement groups by telephone and text as it became clear that the majority of them living alone were very isolated through lack of any access or knowledge of digital technology. Throughout Covid we have delivered weekly online classes to our active age groups. We have also provided where required a loan of ipads or tablets for the duration of the programme.

Aim of Initiative

Our older and more vulnerable citizens who have very little digital skills

Who is it aimed at

Our older and more vulnerable citizens who have very little digital skills

Steps critical to success

  1. Consultation with our clients
  2. tailoring the course to their specific needs
  3. listening to and ongoing engagement with our learners

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Connecting with our target group during Covid
  2. delivering this programme online
  3. poor internet access

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. improved communication and opportunities to access a wide range of services
  2. greater social participation and less isolation
  3. better engagment with older people who are disadvantaged by their lack of digital skills

Evaluation / Report:
Project is ongoing

Mary Reynolds, Longford County Council,