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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The South Bibb Recreation Center is helping local seniors become more tech savvy. This includes 75-year-old Edna Wallace who has been in the class for five weeks now. She says she’s a little out of her comfort zone.
“Oh no I’ve never done anything like this. I’m used to pencil and paper,” Wallace laughed.
The class is coming to a close now, and students are getting ready to surf the web on their own. Class instructor and South Bibb Recreation Center Supervisor James Bell says they started the class with the hopes of keeping seniors safe online.
“We teach vocabulary, PC maintenance, web safety, registering your email, and understanding threats and scams,” explained Bell. “Once you get through the class, you have the basic competency to go on the web and not fall victim to scams.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scams targeting older adults took nearly $338 million from seniors in the third quarter of 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
The rec center not only wants to protect seniors from scams with the classes, but it also hopes to give adults 55 and older a way to socialize.
“A computer class is always something that is very important, especially for our senior citizens,” Bell said. “You can order your medicine over the internet now, and a lot of your doctors will respond more quickly over email than if you can calling on the telephone.”
Wallace says she took the class because she wanted to learn how to handle finances and pay bills online. She says she would encourage other people her age to come and try the class too.
“It’s something to do to get them out of the house every day, and gives them an excuse to use their brains,” Wallace said.
This particular class will run for one more week, and then it will open up for a new set of students. If you would like to join the class, call the South Bibb Recreation Center at (478) 788-0430. The next class will start May 1. It is accepting more students as COVID-19 restrictions become relaxed.