Tech Savvy Seniors

Village Seniors Stay Connected, In the Know

The technology attitudes of senior adults are steadily changing. More and more are embracing digital communication as a way to stay informed and connected to loved ones.

Butterfield Trail Village is communicating with its tech savvy seniors through a variety of digital channels, while providing residents with digital literacy training and campus-wide tech support.

“We like to encourage our residents and Carriage Club members to learn to use social media, especially Facebook and YouTube,” Director of Marketing Kelly Syer said. “These are tools that we use to regularly promote the Village and share everyday happenings that make this such an exclusive and vibrant campus.”

Butterfield regularly shares fun Village photos, news and updates on its Facebook page. The YouTube channel is full of streamed video content like Fitness Tip Fridays, exercise classes, lectures, concerts and performances.

As a convenience, BTV sends email eblasts to residents and Carriage Club members to update them about events, services, announcements and scheduling changes.

“Many residents prefer e-communication over traditional [paper forms] of communication” Syer said. “It’s more efficient and easier to keep track of, and the announcement comes directly to them.”

Along with programming on dedicated in-house cable Channel 1961, residents have relied heavily on social media and other digital channels in recent weeks to stay engaged during the coronavirus pandemic.

BTV encourages residents to embrace technology by way of digital literacy programs. Tech Talk and Tech Help programs teach residents how to use their personal devices and apps to stay informed and connected to friends, family and the community.

Tech Talk is in-person help using devices like smart phones, tablets and personal computers. Residents learn how to set up and maintain basic, web-based email and social media accounts.

Tech Help, however, is conducted remotely and has been the go-to resource for residents during the pandemic.

Tech Help features a new series of training videos that help residents set up an Apple ID, use the Cox Cable DVR in their home, use the new Apple iPads distributed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, and use the Apple FaceTime app to communicate.

Tech Help segments air Monday through Saturday at 9:15 a.m. on Channel 1961.

“The videos typically run between five and ten minutes so folks don’t get overwhelmed with information on a particular topic,” Director of Technology Gary Hodges said.

Hodges credits Resident Tech Assistant Tristan Beebe for producing the Tech Help series. A new video will show residents without an Apple device or access to FaceTime how to use Skype to communicate with the outside world. 

Beebe’s position was added earlier this year. Together, he and Hodges handle video production for BTV and respond to tech support calls from residents campus-wide.