New tech helping senior citizens

An Urbana senior living center is looking to change the way older adults interact with technology. (WCCU)

An Urbana senior living center is looking to change the way older adults interact with technology.

Clark-Lindsey Village hosted its first annual "Tech Zoo" Friday, letting senior citizens test out iPads, Amazon Kindles and the Echo.

It was a free event to demonstrate how easy and useful technology can be for senior citizens in the community.

For one couple at the village, it's allowed them to connect better with family, especially their grandchildren.

“When we first had our cell phones, our granddaughter gave us lessons,” said Joan Hood. “She even did lesson plans and we had little quizzes at the end to make sure we really learned it.”

The couple is also part of a new research study by the University of Illinois called CHART (Collaborations in Health, Aging, Research and Technology).

The group is working to better understand how seniors handle today's technology.

"Once we kind of walk them through it and they understand it, they see the merit to the technology,” said Brian Pastor, program coordinator. “It's no longer a chore, it's a tool. It's all about instruction.”

The research group rents out an apartment at Clark-Lindsey.

They say the feedback from residents has been positive with many wanting to learn more.

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