LANSING, Mich.: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Library of Michigan are offering Michigan older adults free interactive online programs specifically designed to increase social interaction, physical activity and wellness.
Classes cover topics from how to effectively use digital technology, to health and wellness through fitness and cooking, to a full range of enrichment classes. The interactive classes are taught by older adults to their peers on the social learning platform GetSetUp. Classes and programs are accessible at the click of a button around the clock.
Forty percent of people ages 60 and older nationally reported feeling lonely, according to a January 2020 study from the Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins University. This often gets worse during the winter months when weather conditions and the holidays can lead people to feel more isolated. MDHHS and the Library of Michigan are offering GetSetUp classes as a simple and equitable way for aging adults to connect with others from their own homes throughout the holiday and winter season.
“MDHHS strives to offer a variety of programs for aging adults that encourage them to live independently,” said Farah Hanley, MDHHS chief deputy director for health. “GetSetUp provides the opportunities that older Michiganders want and need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.”
The GetSetUp program also helps active agers become more fit, learn to manage their finances, develop new skills and even supplement their income. A special “New Year, New Me” program is running into 2023 to help people accomplish their New Year’s goals with learning tracks on health and wellness, money and business, and growth and development. Plus, classes are available in multiple languages, including English, Mandarin and Hindi, and a growing number of weekly classes in Spanish.
GetSetUp helps address aging health by assuring older adults stay connected to the technical tools they need to thrive and age in place at home, including the latest technologies and software. Research has shown that older adults who learn how to use their tech devices to stay connected with family and interact with others will age more successfully.
“This is a real game changer. AmeriCorps seniors especially have been struggling with technology,” said GetSetUp user Carol Hart, program director of the Foster Grandparent Program and the Senior Companion Program in Muskegon. “I was worried thinking I had to build my own program, but this I can do. This is already here. It’s simple. It’s a patient learning environment. Thanks to the state of Michigan. This is a real gift to the community.”
GetSetUp’s custom-built video learning interface has been tailored to older adults of all technology levels. The platform offers support via phone and in all classes to assist learners with technology and includes a booking system complete with regular reminders and after-class notes. Michigan’s older adults can easily connect with a safe community of more than 4.6 million peers globally. Many have gone on to teach classes or host community sessions on the platform on topics such as Learning to Line Dance, Dealing with Diabetes, and more.
“We know that the holidays and winter season can be a festive time for many people but also a time where others feel particularly alone. We want to remind people that there are empowering learning and socialization opportunities on GetSetUp,” said Lawrence Kosick, president and co-founder of GetSetUp. “We offer opportunities around the clock to learn and socialize with just a click of a button. We look forward to seeing more Michiganders in our upcoming sessions!”
Older adults in Michigan can access these services by visiting: https://www.getsetup.io/partner/michigan
GetSetUp is on a mission to help older adults learn new skills, connect with others and unlock new life experiences. The social learning platform helps more than 4.6 million older adults in 160 countries stay mentally and physically fit, creates economic opportunities through jobs and reskilling and provides a community where people find meaning and purpose by sharing their knowledge and passions and forming new connections. Classes are taught by older adults on a highly interactive, custom-built video platform where older adults can connect during and in between classes. Classes are taught in English, Spanish, Hindi, and Mandarin. Learn more at https://www.getsetup.org.