How one Minneapolis teenager is helping seniors learn technology

Don’t underestimate the power of a grandma or grandpa. Seniors are more plugged in than ever before.

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of people over 65 who own smartphones has gone from 13% to 61% over the last decade. Social media users have gone from 11% to 45% and tablet users from 11% to 45%.

But there are times when our elders have questions about technology. Here’s what a Minneapolis teenager is doing to help.

Technology is just one of Graham Bennett’s hobbies. The Blake School sophomore is a standout runner with his eye on medical school. 

He also has an eye out for his neighbors. He wanted to know how he could help the senior residents of The Kenwood, so he reached out to an employee.

“I asked her if there was anything that I could do to help out here and she said, ‘You could be helping with the devices and things like that,'” Bennett said.

He quickly learned that for some really bright people, the technology he’s native to is foreign to them.

“It wasn’t really taught to us, we had to try and teach ourselves the best we could along the way,” Kenwood resident Georgia McKinnis said.

Understabably, there are questions. So Bennett comes with answers. And he comes often, deciding to spend his weekend mornings as a regular volunteer.

McKinnis, whose family is in California and New York, is a regular.

“Graham helped to get me back in so that I could use my internet and be able to talk to all my family and so forth, because otherwise it was very difficult,” she said.

Now she’s learned about digital video and how to use editing software. (Read More on CBS News Minnesota)

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
October 8, 2023

The Kenwood Senior Living, located in the Lowry Hill neighborhood within the Calhoun-Isles community, is a rental retirement community which provides independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

For more information, call 612-374-8100.