Key Takeaways:

GetSetUp is an online community of older adults who want to learn, connect with others, and unlock new life experiences. Thanks to a partnership with the Wyoming Department of Health, older Wyoming residents can access GetSetUp's extensive catalog of lifelong learning sessions covering topics from technology to health and wellness, fitness, travel, and other enrichment topics.

One of the beneficiaries of this partnership is Steve, a retired airline worker who now lives in a small community in Wyoming with his wife.

"We built a house up in Wyoming when we thought about retirement. I used to come here in my 20s to 40s and loved the area," he said. "My wife wasn't really a city girl, so we were fortunate enough to save our money and move up here full-time in 2012."

Steve and his wife frequently visit one of the two senior centers in their area. There they learned about GetSetUp from the center's director.

"I signed into it and went to a few classes there," Steve said. "When I first started, it was all live classes, which was good. When they started doing some of the recorded classes, I would watch because the time was available to do it later."

Steve has enjoyed how simple it is to navigate the site and choose different ways of interacting with other learners.

“I find the site really user-friendly. Plus it’s pretty easy to be part of the group if you want to, or if you want to be an observer, you can as well.”

Finding Classes That Meet One’s Interests

The platform's user-friendly interface and extensive catalog of courses have made it easy for Steve to find classes that interest him.

"We have watched some of the travel, technology, and cooking-related classes," he said. "Those would be the three top ones that we have taken, but there is a myriad. If we had the time, we would take those."

GetSetUp has been especially helpful for Steve when it comes to technology. 

“The first classes we started with were some tech classes. I know computers on the surface and cell phones on the surface. But there are lots of how-tos that I wasn’t sure how to do.”

Steve and his wife often took these tech classes together to learn more information and utilize their technology devices more effectively.

"There were some of the computer classes that I took that were basic. They covered lots of different file extensions and things like that I wasn’t familiar with," he said. "In the past, if my computer assigned an extension, I didn’t know where to find the file. Now I know where to look, and it helped me learn a lot there."

Tech skills are becoming more and more important for everyone to understand, and Steve and his wife recognize that's an essential part of aging health.

“Now, everyone needs to be proficient with these skills at this time. I wish I could say I utilize all the potential of my phone and what I don't know is probably 70% of the phone’s capacity.”

Steve took both the basic iPhone class and the intermediate to enhance his phone skills.

“We learned quite a bit in the basic course and the intermediate course. I gained a lot from those two classes. I now know way more than just the phone calls. It is amazing how much capacity these phones have to perform certain tasks.”

Not only are the classes interesting for Steve, but he finds each Guide helps to take them to the depth described in the class. Meaning classes don’t easily get off-topic, and advancing through the classes is helpful. Steve has also found the platform's live classes to be particularly valuable.

"I like the live version and the recorded version," he said. "In the recorded version of classes, they have referred me to a forum where other people asked questions similar to what I had, so I got some useful information."

Learning to Keep Exploring

Steve and his wife are avid travelers, taking a big trip almost yearly to take a break from the harsh Wyoming winters.  Right now, Steve and his wife hop into classes when they have spare time. They find the email notifications of the classes available particularly helpful. In the future, they are hoping to meet other travelers like themselves, perhaps even in classes, to share interests and ideas and learn about future destinations.

"I would like an area where you could go and get ideas, especially about travel," he said. "It's always a great resource to talk to someone who has been where you want to travel. Maybe after the class, you could talk about an off-topic question related to a broader topic."

Overall, Steve is grateful for the opportunity to learn new things and stay connected through GetSetUp.

"I appreciate it, and I really didn’t know before you contacted me that GetSetUp reaches out to people," he said. "I appreciate that."

The partnership between GetSetUp and the Wyoming Department of Health has been a great success, allowing older adults like Steve to learn new skills and stay engaged. The platform has been especially valuable for those living in rural areas, where access to educational resources can be limited. GetSetUp offers a supportive and engaging community that allows older adults to connect with others who share their interests and goals.

May 4, 2023
Learner Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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