At a time when people 65 and older are one of the fastest-growing groups online and social media use among seniors is exploding, many older adults are embracing technology and incorporating it into their busy lives.
One prime example of the growing connection between seniors and technology occurs right here on the NewBridge on the Charles campus. When a resident of NewBridge on the Charles rises in the morning, there’s one place they can go to get their news, plan their daily activities, or make dining reservations, all from the comfort of home.
NBOC residents do all of these things and more on their very own website, developed by residents, for residents. It’s the only site of its kind for a senior living community in the country.
In keeping with the remarkable achievements and desire for continued learning that our residents bring to community life, the website was built by a dedicated group who actively planned and built it together. They collectively maintain the site and keep the information current and relevant.
NewBridge resident Ed Goldstein worked as an electrical engineer for Bell Labs on the first nationwide telephone network. Today Ed puts those skills to use helping NewBridge residents become familiar with the site and contribute new content as well.
The site began as a group effort of NewBridge residents, including John Averill, Marion Sanders, Beth Lowd and Ed, all of whom are strong believers in lifelong learning. An offer from Ed’s son, Michael, to work with his Dad to write the code for the site as a Hanukkah gift a community website for the residents by the residents possible.
Working together, Michael and Ed outlined the content, built out a site map and wrote the code for the entire site. Coding is another growing area of interest amongst people of all ages—including older adults!
NewBridge resident Karen Drescher uses the site to manage her daily schedule and her responsibilities as director of the NewBridge library. “We have a complete catalog of our library’s resources on the site including books, movies, and Kindle files that I use for managing our current and new assets,” said Drescher.
“I use the site for a variety of purposes. I can look ahead at that evening’s dinner menu to see what’s available or email a request to maintenance and housekeeping. I also enjoy the video recordings of our programming if you are not able to partake at the time.”
The team is now working to teach technology to seniors in the community through their use of the website and introductory computer classes for seniors offered at NewBridge.
“You’re here as part of a community and you can contribute to that community,” Goldstein said about the website project. “I’m proud of what our team has contributed to NewBridge with this website and how much it helps our residents live fuller, more active lives.”
The NewBridge community website team
Original plotters: John Averell, Beth Lowd, Marion Sanders, Ed Goldstein
Active volunteers: John Averell, Marion Sanders, Herb Schwedock, Marvin Ungar, Ed Goldstein
Steering Committee: John Averell, Malcolm Green, Beth Lowd, Lorraine Greenfield, Sylvia Chaplain, Herb Schwedock, Marvin Unger, Jack Goldberg, Ed Goldstein
Original builder and current technical support: Michael Goldstein
Webmaster: Ed Goldstein