FSU’s Institute for Successful Longevity launches Zoom initiative to help older adults fight social isolation

Florida State University’s Institute for Successful Longevity has launched an initiative to help older adults use the Zoom video platform to stay connected with friends and family, to access learning opportunities and to stay engaged with the community.

To help older adults who are not familiar with the Zoom video platform, the institute offers illustrated how-to documents that take you through the steps of creating a Zoom account, joining a Zoom meeting and scheduling meetings of your own.

“Research studies suggest that about a quarter of the U.S. older adult population suffers from loneliness, and we are concerned that this could become more widespread under the social distancing required to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Neil Charness, director of the institute.

The Institute for Successful Longevity conducts research into how to live longer, stay active and be fully engaged in life. Drawing on the expertise of faculty in fields across the FSU campus, the institute takes a multidisciplinary approach to better explore the complexities of life as an older individual.

“ISL’s research has shown that older adults can use technology to combat social isolation,” Charness said, “so we developed our Zoom guides to help people use their computers to connect with others.”

The how-to guides are free to the public and can be viewed and downloaded here via these links. They cover:

The institute is also recruiting tech-savvy older adults who can assist others who have questions about the Zoom platform.

If you would like to talk to one of ISL’s Zoom mentors, send an email to ISL@fsu.edu.

The institute is sharing resources with the Tallahassee Senior Center to help its clients gain proficiency with the Zoom platform and also is working with residential communities for older adults.

For more information, visit isl.fsu.edu.