Safety and security and the fear of being scammed, are the major concerns identified by older adults when using computer technology.
Therefore, we established the role of the Community Administrator to serve as a "gate-keeper" for accessing Elder Tree. Every person who wants to join Elder Tree, must be authorized by a Community Administrator, either in-person or over the phone. This helps us to avoid those who simply want to "sell something" to older adults. It also improves our ability to make sure only people age 55 and older have access to Elder Tree. If Community Administrators or Elder Tree members experience improper activity on Elder Tree, they can report it directly to the Elder Tree technical support team located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Any staff person or volunteer (age 18 or older) who is part of an existing organization can become an Elder Tree Community Administrator. (Examples include: public libraries; churches; senior centers; senior living communities; and social service agencies; etc.) The reason we require Community Administrators to be affiliated with an organization is to provide continuity and a point of contact should a Community Administrator leave the organization.
The training to become a Community Administrator takes about 20 minutes. To enroll and authorize an older adult on Elder Tree only takes a few minutes. If you would like to post messages and provide words of encouragement to members on the Elder Tree website, you are free to do so. This is not a requirement of Community Administrators but if your time allows, we encourage your involvement.