A report commissioned by hard drive manufacturer Seagate has found that 76 percent of Americans own a personal computer. In the survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation’s CARAVAN poll, three out of four American adults (76 percent) own a personal computer, and 63.4 percent of people 55 years old and older own a personal computer.
Online activity by older adults continues to grow with the development of user friendly computers. Older persons can capitalize on a lifetime of experience in developing new computer skills or just learn the basics of word processing, e-mailing and searching the internet. “Moreover, there is much evidence in the gerontological literature to suggest that older adults are in fact both interested in and capable of continued learning. Computers have a number of features that make them particularly conducive to use by older adults.
Presumably, mastering such skills and using them on an everyday basis would promote a sense of self-efficacy in the aged user and less dependence on others. Never before in our history has so much potential for lifelong learning been available to senior citizens.” (Hoot and Hayslip, 1983)
Chesterfield County offers many programs for seniors through recreation, education and socialization. As a person approaching 60, one of the most valuable tools the county has to offer is the senior advocate program. If you are able to go online, the website is chalked full of information.
The Office of the Senior Advocate was created in May 2003 during Older Americans Month to serve residents of the county who are 60 and older, their family members and caregivers by providing information and referrals and promoting and coordinating services for older adults who want to remain active and independent; for seniors who want to be vital contributors to their communities through volunteering and employment opportunities; and for older adults who may need assistance to remain as independent as possible and for caregivers, including those who may be older and need assistance.
The mission of the senior advocate is to enhance the quality of life of older adults and their caregivers in Chesterfield County and to promote the ability to live active, independent lives as long as possible.
The Office of the Senior Advocate serves as a collaborative partner working with other organizations to meet the needs of older adults. They have been active with the Chesterfield Aging and Disabled Services, the Chesterfield Council on Aging, Chesterfield TRIAD, ElderFriends, Lifelong Learning Institute, Senior Connections - The Capital Area Agency on Aging, Senior Navigator, The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield, the Virginia Center on Aging and Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Over 20 websites for information are linked to the senior advocate site. For more information, visit www.chesterfield.gov  and click on family resources and then senior advocate. Age strong! Live long!