Many of our warga emas are still struggling to learn how to use apps on their smartphone. We need to reach out and help them get onboard the digital literacy bandwagon. Many of the elderly live alone or have adult children who are often too busy to teach them.
More and more services are going online – banking, shopping, tax filing, payment of bills, ordering food, booking a ride, making reservations and so forth. Already food outlets and retail shops are going cashless with e-wallets. The government is encouraging all citizens to register for their Covid-19 vaccine via the MySejatera app. One wonders how many of the elderly know how to register for the vaccination.
It is high time for an IT institute or academy called Silver Clicks where senior citizens can enroll for short courses to learn about various e-services, social media, apps, and even coding. They could also learn about entrepreneur skills including digital marketing and website designing. Or learning fun stuff like creating videos, designing posters, and starting a blog. There are so many ways to be socially connected online to ward off loneliness.
As a first step, university students could organize workshops for our warga emas as an intergenerational initiative to equip them with digital know-how. Help our warga emas remain productive, independent and self-supporting. This ultimately translates into less dependency on their adult children for financial support, and on the government for welfare aid.