Merlene Davis: Film shows impact youth can have helping seniors with technology

John W. Rathgeber, 80, of Lexington, realized his interaction with a sibling in Florida and with some of his children and grandchildren was steadily decreasing.

So, he bought an iPad to replace his aging laptop, signed up for classes at the Apple Store and soon realized he couldn’t keep up.

Neighbors told him about their success with a tablet class for seniors at the Charles Young Community Center. That’s all it took.

Keeping in touch with his children and grandchildren was a big priority for Rathgeber, a former pilot for 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and aviation consultant.

“I see other seniors who aren’t into computers, and they seem to have lost regular touch with their families. They don’t get calls very often, and no one writes letters any more.

“I am trying to keep up with family, and with my sister and her family in Florida,” he continued. “They are big on Facebook down there.”

The tablet class is free to anyone 50 years old and older and is conducted by members of AARP, some of whom were taught last fall by students from The Learning Center at Linlee, an alternative school for grades 7-12 that offers smaller class sizes and real-world experience.

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