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State OFA to offer classes for senior citizens

The state Office for the Aging is partnering with The Association on Aging in New York and GetSetUp to offer 50,000 classes featuring more than 300 different course options developed by and for older adults.

The GetSetUp curriculum and community are designed to combat social isolation and promote independence through live, interactive classes and online connectivity with a community of more than 650,000 older adult learners from more than 160 countries around the globe. Additionally, all guides and instructors are retired educators/professionals/technologists, promoting economic empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and a purpose driven life. Instructors are trained to help older adults learn by doing, not just watching, and all learners are encouraged to become creators by leading their own interest groups.

GetSetUp classes are organized into four broad categories:

¯ Digital Divide/Connectivity (orientation to Zoom and how to use various devices)

¯ Physical Health (i.e. Tai Chi/Yoga/Healthy Cooking)

¯ Mental Health (i.e. Dementia/Coping with Stress/Meditation), and

¯ Social health (i.e. Book club/Gardening/Pets/Travel/Brain Games)

The GetSetUp platform offers more than 40 classes each weekday and more than 10 classes each weekend. It recently launched “GetSetUp TV” for hesitant older adults to get a flavor of the GetSetUp platform without having to fully participate. Classes are rotated regularly to offer the widest variety of programming for older adults in the four main categories.

Technology solutions have grown dramatically over the past year and platforms such as GetSetUp will be part of the new normal. Connecting older adults to an online forum of their peers empowers engagement, continual learning, and even access to employment opportunities outside of the traditional brick and mortar approach.

“I think this is a game changer especially for older adults living in rural parts of the state,” said Dr. Maryann Spanos, Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Commissioner. “Our main challenges to participation in programs are lack of transportation and computer broadband access. The GetSetUp platform mitigates these issues and gives rural seniors access to programming previously only available in big city centers. Life-long learning has so many benefits in addition to reducing social isolation, it is the key to a healthy body, healthy brain and bringing greater life fulfillment.”

For more information, visit chqgov.com/office-aging/Office-for-the-Aging.

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