A Positive Story from One of our ‘Tech2Go’ Volunteers

Several of our seniors have greatly benefited from participating in Tonari Gumi’s ‘Tech2Go’ program, using tablet computers. One of Tonari Gumi’s volunteers, who visits people living in residential care facilities, has expressed, “I have been visiting a lady in her early nineties for more than a couple of years. In the beginning, every time I visited her, she welcomed me with a warm smile. Recently however, she indicated a decline in her health, both physically and mentally and I noticed she seldom smiled as she had before. I decided to introduce the use of a tablet computer to her.  First, we listened to old Japanese songs and watched videos as a way to understand her preferences and interests.  She appeared delighted to look at landscape scenery and enjoyed singing old Japanese songs with the help of subtitles.  It was such a pleasure for me to see that she was able to read the Japanese subtitles.  The utilization of tablet computers has proven to be an effective way to initiate various stimulating conversations with seniors.”  Our ‘Tech2Go’ Tonari Gumi volunteers are first-hand witnesses to how the use of new technology has greatly improved the quality of life among our seniors.


Rambling Through Lord Stanley’s Park.

DSC_0392rOn June 17, some 8 seniors with David Iwaasa of the staff and Noriko Plimley as a volunteer helper spent a couple hours enjoying the beauty and history of Stanley Park.  Everyone was transported to the park thanks to Nobuji Hirosawa and Ed Hayashi on their vehicles and the group started off from the bus loop in the park.  First stop was the Japanese Canadian War Memorial where the group learned about the sacrifices made by Japanese Canadians during World War I, in particular, but also in Canada’s subsequent wars: World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Afghanistan War where Japanese Canadians gave their lives on behalf of Canada and to further the rights of Japanese Canadians.

Moving on from the War Memorial, the group passed the Stanley Park Pavilion and the Malkin BoDSC_0395wl, learning about how development of the park had evolved over the years while enjoying the beautiful landscaping and the period architecture.  Next was a chance to enjoy the roses at the rose garden.  From the rose garden everyone made their way past Lost Lagoon and proceeded to the apartment of Makiko Suzuki, Noriko Plimley’s mother.DSC_0401  There, in a beautiful apartment overlooking the Lost Lagoon and Stanley Park everyone was treated to cool drinks and delightfully delicious home-made treats.

Thanks to the beautiful weather and the generous hospitality of Makiko Suzuki, everyone had a wonderful time learning a little about our history in Canada, enjoying each other’s company, while participating in a pleasant walk in the park.DSC_0406

Our next walking excursion will take place on Tuesday, July 14 starting at 10:00 a.m. from Tonari Gumi.  We will be going to Central Park in Burnaby and we encourage everyone to bring a picnic lunch.  Look forward to everyone registering to come.

Senior Tech2Go Update!




Tonari Gumi is reaching out to help Japanese Canadian seniors throughout the Lower Mainland learn how to use the popular tablet computers through its new “Senior Tech2Go” (Technology to Go) program. Under this program seniors (55+) are trained to help other seniors to use tablet computers. Senior volunteers will learn how to teach others to connect to the internet, take pictures, send and receive emails.

A log of our activities and information on our tablet classes are available at http://tech2go.jimdo.com/

Tech2Go-1Senior Tech2Go Volunteer Workshops

We held our first Tech2Go volunteer workshops at Tonari Gumi on May 27 – June 10 (4times). We had a total of eight seniors who participated, learning the basics usage of the tablet (photography, mail sending and receiving, app downloads, printer settings, etc.).

Our participants appeared to have had a really fun time at the workshop! Most of them already knew the basics of tablet use, but we reviewed each step to bring them all up to speed. All of them indicated that they had Tech2Go-2learned new things in the workshops! After the workshops, the participants will become Senior Tech2go volunteer teachers and assistants to share their knowledge. Teaching others is a good form of brain training. If you have a tablet, are using it, and are willing to learn more, you are exactly who we need! We need senior volunteers who are willing to help others!

Our next Senior Tech2Go volunteer workshops are going to held at Nikkei Place in Burnaby, and at the Steveston Community Center in Steveston.

Tech2Go-3In Burnaby:
Place:the Nikkei Home

Date&time:July 7, 14, 21, 27(Tuesdays, 4-times)2:00pm – 3:30pm (1.5hours)

In Richmond:
Place : Steveston Community Center

Date:August 19, 26 (Wendsday, 2-times) 9:30pm – 11:30am (2 hours)

After the workshops, each community center will be able to hold a tablet class or a tablet club. If you want to learn more about how to use a tablet and are willing to teach other fellow seniors, this is your chance! Please check for updates on our website http://tech2go.jimdo.com/

Anyone interested in building on their own basic skills on using either an Android tablet or an Apple iPad and who are willing to help, please contact Izumi at (604) 687-2172 or e-mail t2g@tonarigumi.ca.

This program is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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