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Monarch HealthCare ambassador Jose Juarez and San Juan Capistrano resident Pat Callum share a smile when Pat learns how to successfully navigate her Smart Phone. Photo:
Monarch HealthCare ambassador Jose Juarez teaches San Juan Capistrano resident Pat Callum to successfully navigate her smartphone. Photo: Courtesy of Maryann Marino

By Maryann Marino, for The Capistrano Dispatch

Monarch HealthCare community ambassador Jose Juarez has quickly become a digital guru for many seniors across Orange County, including in the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Dana Point and Lake Forest.

During his monthly visits with seniors at community venues and senior centers, Juarez helps them learn how to utilize new communication methods, including email, social media, smartphones and tablets. The work is part of a comprehensive outreach strategy deployed by Monarch, one of the largest physician groups in Orange County and Long Beach. Goals of the program include helping seniors adapt to and use technology to help avoid isolation, as well as helping patients manage their own healthcare with online tools.

San Juan Capistrano resident Curtis Holman goes digital with help from Jose Juarez, Monarch HealthCare ambassador. Photo:
San Juan Capistrano resident Curtis Holman goes digital with help from Jose Juarez, Monarch HealthCare ambassador. Photo: Courtesy of Maryann Marino

“Two months ago, I helped this lady connect with her daughter. She had never met her grandson,” Juarez said of a recent trip to the San Juan Capistrano Senior Center. “The grandson was three and I helped them do FaceTime … there were just tears at how thankful she was.”

“My teaching them about modern technology changes lives for the better,” Juarez continued. “They feel more involved, more valuable again, and connected with others. As people age, it can be hard to get out, but it’s important to our mental health to stay in touch with family and friends. It keeps our minds sharp. It’s a win-win situation.”

Seniors interested in attending the next digital technology class have an opportunity this week at the Bell Tower Senior Center on Nov. 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Bell Tower Senior Center is located at 22232 El Paseo in Rancho Santa Margarita.

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