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Senior Savvy offers knowledge, tech support to seniors to help them stay connected

Posted at 7:06 AM, May 14, 2021

Have you ever had a senior ask you for help with technology? Maybe Mom or Dad is having trouble with email or needs help with Facebook or Zoom. You try and walk them through, but lose patience and everyone gets frustrated. Well, that's where a local company called Senior Savvy is there to help.

Abbie Richie founded and runs Senior Savvy.

"It's really just basics, but they need a little extra help and that's where we come in," said Richie.

Through a series of Zoom workshops, Senior Savvy provides one-on-one tech support for seniors and their families. They've been around since 2018 and are already making a huge impact.

"Abbie really helped my mother with all things technical. Getting email set up, Skype, getting her on Facebook, so many things," said Ann Rowell, a Senior Savvy client who needed help teaching her 92-year-old mother.

They help with the things that many adult children don't have the time, knowledge, or patience to teach their senior parents.

"That's where we come along. We provide patient, personal, professional tech support for older people, and we love doing just that," Richie said.

Fannie Wolfe, a resident at Country Meadows retirement home in Bridgeville, Pa., prepares to e-mail her daughter using Touchtown software that allows users to dictate instead of typing, and click on a picture of someone instead of typing their e-mail address, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Her secret to success?

"K.I.S.S.," she said. "Keep It Simple Senior. I never say the other word. It's one of the principles of Senior Savvy... Keep It Simple Senior. I do not get complicated, I keep it to the basics," she said.

Richie uses patience and repetition, going over the tech info step by step until the light bulb comes on. And when it does, she says, watch out!

"She was sending e-mails, she would send Skype messages, she would go on Facebook.. It was incredible!" Rowell said.

"I was working with a client, Elaine, who wanted to listen to music on her iPad," Richie said "That seems like something that we would take for granted, we know how to do that. But I was able to create a Schubert radio station for her on her iPad and her eyes just lit up, she started crying because she said this was the first time she heard this piano music in 40 years! And it brought her back to being with her father," she said.

"I had another client who was able to participate in a Zoom event with her granddaughter who had a gymnastics, and she was like, 'I don't know how it happened, but I was able to watch my granddaughter on Zoom do gymnastics!'"

They utilize a personal touch to teach tech that seniors and their families trust.

"They're treated with respect and they're supported and their world is opened to so many more things for them to enjoy," Rowell said.

"What I have found is that when my clients can do something on their own, they feel more confident," Richie said. "They feel more empowered, and then they are able to master their technology their way."

Rowell says she felt a lot better that her mom would not fall victim to online scams after she took the Senior Savvy course.

Richie says she leaves seniors with a handout so they can always go back and refer to the steps.

She says the most asked question is about creating and learning passwords.

You can find more information about Senior Savvy on their website.