Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seniors on the Superhighway

What a strange and interesting world we have become. I'm sitting here on my front porch, posting on my blog about caring for older folks on my laptop, listening on my iPod to a ska band (Cake) that my grownup son turned me on to from his younger days. People say that our world is becoming smaller and less delineated by technology and I think that we as individuals are becoming broader (in a good way) and less delineated by technology as well.

So here's what I'm thinking about... how can we put all this technology to use to help keep our elder folk connected on this big superhighway of information and a dizzying array of gizmos and gadgets. I checked for geezer blogs online and found the Geezer Brigade, a humor blog for geezers "and their attorneys!" and also found a great blog by a guy going by the nom de plume Geezer about Northern Michigan on Geezer's Blog. A search for "older adult online" finds "Older, Wiser, Wired" on the AARP website, an article from way back in 2005 that estimated at least 50% of adults over 50 go online regularly and I'm sure that has increased exponentially since then.

I know that Mama has benefitted from being "connected" online - to my sibs through regular e-mail, getting pictures of her great-grands and keeping up with their growing years. She also laments regularly finding herself falling into the time-sucking abyss of online solitare and maj jhong games (although she gets mighty cranky when the cable internet goes out... might be time to look for a 12 step program?) She keeps up with her banking and bill-paying online, manages her mail-order prescriptions and can google search with the best of them. I know that the ability to do these things has helped prevent her from becoming alone and isolated even if she "doesn't get around much anymore" as the old song says. Her life is enriched by having the world and its information at her fingertips.

Perhaps nursing homes and in-home caregivers can begin finding ways to connect the elders in their care. It doesn't cost anything to set up a blog and if the links are bookmarked most seniors could probably manage their own blogs without a whole lot of assistance. Shared insights and experiences are vital to staying connected as well as to finding solutions to obstacles and difficulties. Geezernet.com - it could begin a whole new community for our older loved ones!

3 comments:

Scott Lara said...

Hi...

Scott Lara from Welcome Homecare here. My wife's grandfather is 92 years old and loves using a computer! He sends email and loves Fox News.Com.

I am glad that you have this blog to help caregivers who take care of elderly family and friends.

For more info about home healthcare which is 100% paid for by Medicare (must have skilled nursing need), feel free to contact me at slara1961@bellsouth.net.

Thanks...

Scott

albenson said...

This is Al Benson from Shoreline Building. I agree that there is a lot of technology that benefits the "geezer" generation. If a senior is unable to use email, there is a service that allows a caregiver to manage an email receiver, so the senior can receive messages on a printer without having to have a computer. The service can be seen at www.presto.com. I believe the cost is about $10 a month plus the cost of the printer/receiver.

Betsy said...

That's good to know Al. As is often the case, especially with Seniors is that there is a lot out there but the average folks don't know where to find it.

I'm just very happy that more and more older adults have gotten over their nervousness about going online. It can open up a whole new world, especially for someone who is home bound.