It’s almost immediately assumed that people over the age of sixty (even younger if theyÂ didn’tÂ work in a relatively high-technology industry) to be totally out of touch with the digital world and the various paradigms that define it. This would include the very devices that are part and parcel of this technological domain.
The assumption isn’t without merit; there are a lot of seniors who don’t keep up with the times, and thus, do not fully comprehend these newfangled gadgets and gizmos. Either they cannot be bothered to update themselves, none of the young ones have the patience to teach them, or a mixture of both reasons. In any case, this is a lost opportunity that must be rectified. Technology is meant to make things easier, more convenient, and more efficient for humanity, and that definitely includes our elders.
I will identify a few choice gadgets that golden boys and girls should seriously consider familiarizing themselves with. Granted, there will be some learning involved, but the benefits of being able to use these devices will improve the quality of life and give seniors something to talk about with their younger friends and family.
Mice and touchpads aren’t always the most intuitive interfaces for those who didn’t grow up with a personal computer readily available to them. Using one’s fingers to point and press, however, is something we are inherently comfortable with.
Google Nexus 7 Tablet
The touch-sensitive screens and the bright, crisp displays of today’s commercially available tablets make interfacing with information all the more easier. They aren’t particularly heavy (like some laptops), have very few actual buttons and moving parts, and the screen is big enough to be readable (compared to smartphones).
I am not kidding. Many a senior will appreciate all the cool games one can play with a modern gaming console connected to an LCD TV. Remember that these computers are designed for a younger audience, and the controllers and other peripherals are simple and safe enough to fiddle around with or without the risk of electrocution.
Nintendo Wii Console
They’re a lot of fun, too. The selection of titles are rather diverse, and though Grandpa may not opt to relive his days of military service by playing some shooter, he and Grandma could always enjoy an entertaining game of virtual tennis. Obviously, this is another way for elders and youngins to play together.
There are numerous technological aids to home maintenance available nowadays. Most are designed to be simple to use and operate, while giving the owner more quality time to pursue what they truly want to do.
Admittedly, our seniors are a little less ambulatory than they used to be. Granted, they need healthy exercise more than ever, but under more controlled, safer environments and scenarios. Take for instance sweeping and vacuuming the house or apartment. It can be a bit risky for them to lift or push heavy furniture or try to get into cramped spaces. There are such handy cleaning robots that can do the work, albeit without risk to your beloved.
From a device used by the military and a key feature in expensive executive automobiles, wireless phones have become most ubiquitous consumer electronic device in the world today. It used to be just a way for people to get in touch via voice calls; now, just about all forms of data are transmitted and received through these handheld technological marvels.
Cutting-edge smartphones have so many features and functionalities, but not all of these are essential. A simple and reliable mobile phone is all one needs to negotiate the intricacies of the wired world.
A final word on teaching seniors about new technology: be patient. The world is changing much faster than it was during the years of their youth, and it can be disconcerting for some of them. Give them the time and positive encouragement to learn how to use these gadgets and gizmos properly, and you would have made their lives a tad more convenient and enjoyable.
About the Author
Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is currently conspiring with her closest friends in making their new blog, Word Baristas.