A couple years ago I was working in a sales office as a receptionist.
My desk was at the first point of contact and I was regularly visited by employees who needed help with issues. One employee in particular stood out in her requests. She was our oldest and most hardworking sales representative. She was in her mid 80’s and worked full time in sales. Not only did her tenacity amaze me, but also did her tact and wittiness. She would come to be for help with her blackberry device.
I would only have to show her once and she got it. One day as she was leaning over my shoulder watching me set up her business email account, I asked her why she was so keen on learning all the detail of her cell phone and how to do things?, especially if she was planning on retiring soon. She answered, “Learning how to use these new technologies has given me a mental excitement that I have never felt in my senior years, my body ages, but my mind has been kept young.”
Many seniors may shy away from learning new technologies. For some, it may be intimidating. For others, they may not understand the benefits or how social media in particular can help them.
Here are a couple other reasons why seniors should embrace technology, not run from it:
Technology prevents senior isolation
Social media is a great tool for people to connect, especially seniors. It allows them to keep in touch with kids, grandkids and sometimes even great grandchildren. Often, close family members may not live in the same city or same country, social has the ability to connect them instantly. Seniors are able to see and share photos, videos and messages across the world. Also, with the shift from conventional communication options (think of mailing letters, newspapers, etc.), social media allows seniors to stay up to date with the trends.
Technology provides the comfort of entertainment
Seniors are able to find all their old favorite television shows, songs, actors, musicals, virtually everything online. They can join in chatrooms, read blogs and engage with people from their era. Being able to walk down memory and interact with people provides the comfort seniors need.
Technology stimulates the aging mind
Websites like Pinterest, Etsy, YouTube, Instagram, blogs and countless others thrive on user creativity. Today there are thousands of websites that exist to help foster human creativity. These are especially helpful for seniors. Seniors are able to create artwork and display it online. Many even sell them. Technology today allows senior to tap into their creative abilities and also turn hobbies into an income.
Technology allows seniors to stay independent
Everything from wearable technology that helps monitor your health, to apps that make life easier, seniors are able to keep control of their lives.
As the population ages, its important that we don’t leave our loved ones behind. Continue to look into the value that technology can have in the lives of the elderly.