You’re never too old to Hangout: SeniorNet delivers SeniorHangouts initiative

When our first lockdown started in 2020, SeniorNet New Zealand realised that it needed to keep its senior members in contact with each other. Even now, many seniors are still nervous about attending face to face meetings. “During this prolonged pandemic we understand that social connection for seniors remains vitally important, said Heather Newell, Executive Officer for SeniorNet. “That’s why we provide a daily dose of online tech talk and socialisation for seniors, no matter where they are based, what their technology knowledge is, and no matter what kind of device they have.”

For over 25 years SeniorNet has been helping seniors to enjoy using technology in their every day lives. These days many members are retirement village or rest home residents, where lockdowns and restricted entry can lead to isolation and loneliness.

Thanks to support from, SeniorNet delivers a daily programme called SeniorHangouts, for free. It’s an opportunity to network with like-minded people from around the country. “One of our regular attendees who lives in a retirement village said “I don’t care what the topic is, this is my lifeline to the outside world. I look forward to socialising with others every day”.

Age is no barrier to learning. At 88 years of age, Dr Beryl Barratt never thought she’d still be described as a model student.

The Wellingtonian had absolutely no idea of the workings of computers until last year. Thanks to SeniorNet, and SeniorHangouts, the virtual version, she has learned a lot about digital technology over the past 18 months. Her motivation was keeping in contact with relatives overseas and being confident about sending them money transfers.

Beryl – a retired soil scientist – confesses to previously knowing “nothing” about digital technology and admits it was fear that inspired her to get with the times. Technology was changing and she didn’t want to be left behind.

To talk further about what SeniorNet and SeniorHangouts can deliver for residential homes and villages – contact SeniorNet’s Heather Newell at or phone 027 2762 730.

Pictured: Dr Beryl Barratt has learned a lot about digital technology over the past 18 months

About Heather Newell

Heather Newell, MComms, FFINZ was appointed Executive Officer of SeniorNet in 2020. Heather is passionate about ensuring that technology is a useful tool in our everyday lives and that using it should always be enjoyable, sociable or productive.

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