Tapping senior talent

Power up: Older Australians are being encouraged to access more information online and use technology, while taking care not to fall for online scams.

Power up: Older Australians are being encouraged to access more information online and use technology, while taking care not to fall for online scams.

With International Day of Older Persons being held on October 1, the Department of Human Services is encouraging seniors to learn more about adopting self-service options and to feel empowered to go digital.

An important message we’re sharing with our followers is the need to be scam savvy

- DHS General Manager Hank Jongen

This year’s theme, Stepping into the Future: tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in society, is about getting involved and overcoming societal barriers, including access to information and using technology.

In a recent podcast recorded with Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association president Nan Bosler, Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said myGov was the best starting point for older Australians to do their Centrelink and Medicare business on the go.

“MyGov is a simple and secure way for people to access a whole range of services online. Creating an account is straightforward and it links you to Centrelink or Medicare, and other agencies like the Australian Taxation Office,” Mr Jongen said.

“Through myGov, you can claim payments online, receive updates on your payment rates, and provide the department with information or update a change in your circumstances.

“You can also download the Express Plus app on your smartphone to do business with us in the palm of your hand 24/7, which is the most straight forward way of avoiding the queues.”

Mr Jongen encouraged older Australians to jump online and follow its Seniors Update social media accounts to keep up with the latest news about the department.

“The Seniors Update page is a fantastic new area where you can post general inquiries and receive up-to-date and relevant information about changes to payments and services,” Mr Jongen said.

“An important message we’re sharing with our followers is the need to be scam savvy.

“Be on the lookout for emails, phone calls and SMS pretending to be from the department, particularly those asking to transfer money or purchase gift cards in order to receive a Centrelink payment.

“The department will never ask you to do this.”

To listen to the podcast or read more about scams, visit mediahub.humanservices.gov.au and type ‘podcast’ or ‘scams’ in the search bar.

The Seniors Update social media pages can also be found on Facebook atfacebook.com/seniorsupdate or Twitter at @SeniorsUpdateAU.