“Are you kidding me?”
While I operate in a world of instant communication by cell phone, seniors often forgets to charge theirs or take it with them. I have hundreds of cell phone calls – they may go a month and not use it. I have three different email mailboxes and many folders to sort my email – they still buy stamps and write letters. So should we interfere with our senior relatives and introduce them to modern communication. YES – but gently.
We are in an information age – one where the information resources almost overwhelm you, but one where the right tools are necessary for access. Take Medicare supplemental insurance (please!). My parents spent two weeks of their winter visit with my sister on the Internet – comparing prices and coverage. The truth is my sister spent two weeks on the Internet and translated screens, diagrams, and tables into digestible bites for my parents, so they could make a good decision on insurance coverage. My mother’s doctor recently suggested she look at some information on the Internet about her new prescription. She decided to take it on faith, not knowledge.
My point: there is so much that a senior citizen needs to know or might find helpful to know that is conveniently accessible on the Internet. The instant communication of email might alleviate the boredom of shut-in seniors. While it is fine for those of us who are computer literate to find the information for our seniors, they are the ones with the time available to search. SO…… gently suggest that their grandson or granddaughter would like to show them how to use a computer. When they find out it won’t blow up when they hit the wrong key and most mistakes are instantly correctable, you may have given them a valuable pipeline to information on health, estate management, and family connection they never thought possible.
Want an example? Have them go to our websites, or or Dustin’s website and sign up for our free monthly newsletter on a variety of elder issues. Remember it’s free and, I think, helpful and sometimes entertaining.