“How do I attach pictures to emails or to texts?”
That’s one of the most common questions Laurie Way gets when she teaches seniors on how to get the most out of electronic devices.
Her class “iPhones/iPads: Talk to your family through text or Facetime” is designed to show seniors how to easily communicate with their family using social media outlets especially with texting and Facetime.
“Another common question is how do I upload to Facebook,” Way said. “Usually it involves pictures.”
Way was teaching one of the classes at the 35th annual Conference on Extraordinary Living at Umpqua Community College, Friday. It’s for those who are 50 and over, at or near retirement or want to find ways to stay active and busy.
Joanie Chamber picked the iPad/iPhone class because she wanted to become more efficient with smartphones and tablets.
“I’m not as good using my iPhone as I’d like to be, and I want to know how to get from one place to another and I get lost,” Chambers said. “The texting I have no problem with, the FaceTime I do. I just want to improve my skills.”
Way said many seniors are overwhelmed by the rapid changes in technology, but she hopes to simplify it and help them use it to their advantage.
“The fact that we have these tools and they can do so much, it’s just incredible that we can text in such a very quick way,” she said.
Keynote speakers this year were Paula Usrey, an associate professor of Communication at UCC and Susan Rochester, an associate professor of art at the college.
Usrey said retirees or potential retirees have an opportunity to discover activities to enhance their lives.
“Setting goals is important, I create a map of my goals and it helps me stay accountable,” Usrey said.
Rochester told the seniors, art can make a difference and in fact improves a person’s balance.
“One of the best things you can do at this age is work on your balance,” Rochester said. “Living life with no regrets is something we can all do.”
About 140 people registered for this year’s event although officials thought they may have gotten more if not for the smoke issues and road closures in parts of the county. Even so, Robin Van Winkle, the director of Community and Workforce Training for UCC, says organizers were pleased with the turnout.
Van Winkle said the most popular class this year was how to post pictures and join groups on Facebook and how you find and join groups, and post pictures taught by Lynne Smith.
“The largest growing segment of Facebook is 60+ and that doesn’t surprise us at all,” Van Winkle said.
The event features a wide range of workshops for seniors, like health, recreation, travel, and legal issues, and several other topics.