Services Helping Senior CitizensTo Become Digitally Proficient

Since many seniors in India are familiar with smartphones and apps like Whatsappp, it is not difficult for them to sign up for the GetSetUp program and their preferred classes.

Senior citizens often find it difficult to navigate digital environments. Tasks that seem simple to every millennial and Gen-Z’er, can leave the elderly completely stumped. This is because of their social conditioning and upbringing in an environment that did not rely on technology for sustenance. From writing and emailing documents to making digital payments, seniors often need guidance and hand-holding. The arrival of the pandemic, and the world’s increasing dependency on a digital environment, has only made this situation worse. Like everyone else, they too need to be tech-savvy to perform basic tasks.

Pew Research based in the USA, conducted a study in 2019 on the technology use of seniors. This study found that 73% of adults aged 65 and older use the internet, and 53% of Americans above 65 own a smartphone. Yet, separate studies have discovered that nearly 50% adults above the age of 65, and 40% between the ages of 50 and 64, feel they need help in learning the use of new technology. This clearly indicates an intention to be digitally proficient. Children and grandchildren are not always readily available to guide them, but fortunately, tech help for seniors is now easy to find.

GetSetUp is a community platform that enables older adults to share their expert knowledge, to teach essential life skills to others. Originally launched with the mission of ‘older adults helping their peers,' the company has now expanded its operations, to teach tech tools and applications to the likes of school teachers who are unable to address the current needs of distance learning, patients and members who need to learn about apps and programs for health care and telehealth, and older customers of corporate tech tools.

Deval Delivala, Senior Vice President, International Markets at GetSetUp says, “senior citizens have knowledge, time and wisdom to share with the world, which means they can be true ‘creators’ of the digital economy based on content and experiences. We believe that if we help them get comfortable with technology and provide them with the tools to share their skills, it can unlock a lot of human potential and value.”

GetSetUp was founded in 2019, to create economic, social and educational opportunities for older adults. Headquartered in San Francisco, their team entered the Indian market in October 2020. In the short time since its launch, GetSetUp has achieved significant growth in partnerships and platform usage, including more than 2 million users in 160 countries and multiple partners, particularly in the health and wellness industry.

By focusing on providing a fun, social learning environment that helps learners acquire new skills, they have garnered a loyal clientele for their courses. Classes are usually an hour long and led by GetSetUp Guides - senior citizens who are experts in their fields. “Our goal is that learners walk away from a class with new skills and tangible knowledge, hopefully having had some fun and meeting new people along the way,” shares Delivala.

Each class is deliberately kept small in size so that every participant has the chance to ask questions, share experiences, and connect with others in the class. One of their patrons, Jyotsna, candidly shares, “I became a member of this group out of curiosity. Now I'm really enjoying it. It is an adult friendly program and has made my life very lively.”

Since many seniors in India are familiar with smartphones and apps like Whatsappp, it is not difficult for them to sign up for the GetSetUp program and their preferred classes. In case they are unable to do it themselves, a dedicated customer support team helps them book their first class and go through the steps. New member orientation classes are held every day for this purpose, and classes are taught in different Indian languages. Since most learners from India choose to attend classes on their phones, the app and mobile browsing experience have been made user friendly. GetSetUp’s programs are available on their web platform and as an app on Android devices. The success of GetSetUp’s model is easily seen through their numbers. Delivala shares, “we began classes in India with 20 sessions a week and are now offering close to 800 classes a month. Learners can attend the classes on our platform, and the most popular ones are also available on our social media channels.”

She further adds, “for corporates, insurance service providers and assisted living or geriatric care services, the offerings of GetSetUp are particularly attractive. We have different services and bundles at competitive prices. Their senior members can avail our fitness package, entertainment package and learning package or can go for an all-access service.”

About the author -

The writer is a freelance lifestyle columnist and can be reached on [email protected].

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elder care Noor Anand Chawla


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