Senior Planet News

OATS to Partner with San Antonio Area Foundation to Launch Social Isolation Task Force with Aging Community Stakeholders

Senior Planet San Antonio Free Online Classes for Seniors, May 18-22, Will Include One-on-One Verizon Tech Support, Online Safety and Online Banking During COVID-19, and Creative Expression with Actor Tony Plana

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 15, 2020

Senior Planet San Antonio, a free program that helps learners 60 and older build technology skills to reach their goals, find community, and thrive in the digital world, is offering free online classes that focus on how to make the most of life at home. Classes, which are offered live via video conference, enhance a wide variety of life skills. Classes May 18-22 will include One-on-One Verizon Tech Support, Online Safety and Online Banking During COVID19, and Creative Expression with Actor Tony Plana.

In addition to classes in English, classes will be delivered and available in Spanish. A variety of exercise and civic engagement classes also will be offered.

Since the first virtual Senior Planet San Antonio class was offered on March 23, more than 10,000 participants have taken advantage of the organization’s programming. Future classes in May will feature topics such as streaming services, podcasts, online shopping, staying safe online, ballot-by-mail, telemedicine and how to better understand online utility bills.

Sessions concentrate on user-friendly digital tools and resources and are designed to enable older adults to learn to utilize technologies to improve their daily lives. Senior Planet San Antonio uses a curriculum created by OATS (Older Adult Technology Services), which also provides local technology training staff and works with numerous City departments and providers of senior services to identify topics of interest for San Antonio residents. OATS sponsors similar Senior Planet programming in six states. The City’s Department of Human Services and other partners contribute to the program’s course offerings by creating additional communication channels for seniors to request help and acquire the skills needed to successfully navigate the new circumstances that have been imposed by COVID-19.

Classes change on a weekly basis. A home internet connection and a device (such as a smartphone, tablet or computer) are all that is required to participate.

Classes to be offered May 18-22 will include:

  • How to Contact Your Lawmaker & Ballots by Mail
  • Sending and Receiving Money with Zelle®
  • Everything Smartphones with Verizon
  • Protecting Your Personal Information Online
  • How to Spot Fake News
  • Explore Twitter
  • Online Games You Can Play With Your Friends
  • Cloud Storage
  • Use Your Tablet to Zoom Like a Pro
  • Seniors In Play with Actor Tony Plana

In addition to more than 50 online programs each week, OATS has launched a National Tech Help hotline and a local San Antonio support hotline. The National Tech Hotline is monitored by Senior Planet trainers from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday: 1-920-666-1959.

To sign up for the Senior Planet San Antonio newsletter, which includes detailed information about upcoming classes and tech support, go to: https://seniorplanet.org/get-involved/newsletters/. For a complete list of Senior Planet resources, visit https://seniorplanet.org/coronavirus

In order to achieve systems-level changes, OATS will also collaborate with the San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAF) and Successful Aging and Living in San Antonio (SALSA) on a Social Isolation Task Force, along with senior activists, to address the social isolation of seniors in San Antonio. The task force will consist of stakeholders who have agreed to address social isolation among seniors in San Antonio as an issue in need of community-level support to effectively create large-scale change. The stakeholders invited to the task force are representatives from the population OATS is serving, leadership representatives from catalyst partners, and government, community, nonprofit, business, and other leaders from the community who are able to commit to working together with OATS to make real change for San Antonio seniors.

For more information about Senior Planet San Antonio and to view its virtual program offerings, visit https://seniorplanet.org/locations/san-antonio/. The team can be contacted at (210) 504-4862 or via email at [email protected].