Teens Teaching Alzheimer's Caregivers To Be Tech Savvy: The Power of Intergenerational Partnerships
The project, known informally as TechWorld, teaches Alzheimer's caregivers to use computers in order to access health resources and to communicate with family, friends, other caregivers and professionals. Teens are trained to be mentors to teach the caregivers how to use the technology.
Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc.
A nonprofit organization that serves as the area agency on aging in the rural, mountainous, Central Appalachian counties of far southwest Virginia, the organization provides a range of services to older adults and their family caregivers.
Big Stone Gap, VA
How does it work?
The organization recruits community partners who donate time and resources, including used computers for caregivers, technical assistance, library space and computer labs, respite and transportation services, on an on-going basis. Volunteer teens are taught to have a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease and the effects of caregiving. These teens then mentor caregivers in a computer training program that last five Saturdays, five hours each session.
Why is it successful?
To date, 45 Alzheimer's Disease caregivers and 45 teens have completed training sessions. The final project evaluation indicated that caregivers had a great appreciation of the teen tutors, they appreciated their new computer skills and the ability to connect with others, they felt less alone, and they felt more confident in their learning ability.
NOTE: The curriculum, "Tech World - An Information Portal," as well as a "How To" manual that provides step-by-step instructions for establishing the program are available for dissemination.
For more information: www.meoc.org