According to Catherine McAuliffe, manager of Age Concern Horowhenua, it's never too late to brush up on your online skills and stay connected.
A secure computer room has recently been set up in Age Concern's premises at 14 Durham St, Levin, to cater for the online needs of older members of the local community.
McAuliffe said they were lucky enough to secure funding from Pelorus Trust, which has enabled the purchase of two computers, desks, and office chairs for the setup, as well as a printer.
Age Concern is very aware of the issues around day-to-day banking for older people, especially as many New Zealand banks have begun to phase out cheques as a payment method.
The concern with the move to online banking is the possibility of an increase in financial abuse of older, less computer-literate people if they are not fully aware of how the systems work and how to protect themselves.
Stewart Thompson, board chairman for Age Concern Horowhenua, said they looked at the possible risks and worked on options they could provide for the community.
"The library offers public computer facilities ... but people can look over your shoulder to see what you're doing," he said.
At Age Concern people will only deal with one staff member if they need help when using the computers, whether it's for online banking, social media, or even skyping family, said Thompson.
Next on the agenda is to set up computer classes as part of the Tech Savvy Seniors programme that Age Concern runs.
"We want to help people with digital awareness and offer them supportive lessons in a group learning or one on one format," McAuliffe said.
"We'll start with the basics ... from how to turn a computer on through to searching the internet for information."
McAuliffe said the aim is to give older people the confidence and knowledge to use the computers themselves and provide support.
She is thrilled that several local banks have come on board to support the older community with the change to payment options by being part of the first Tech Savvy Seniors sessions, which start next week.
The free morning tea sessions will provide people with an opportunity to come along and find out more about their bank, online banking systems, alternative payment options, and how to stay safe with money online.
First up is Westpac Bank on Tuesday, July 6 at 10am – contact Catherine McAuliffe on (06) 367 2181 to find out more.