Forty-nine years have passed since the summer of 1963, when Chuck Berry first dialed long distance information for Memphis, Tennessee—and in that 49 years communication technology has changed even more than rock ‘n’ roll.
Yes, you can still make that long distance phone call to Marie. You can also text, Skype, email or tweet her. By the way, 6-year-old Marie is now 55, and may have more interest in using any of those communication methods over Chuck’s phone call.
For seniors, this rapid change in new technology can become a source of frustration. Many seniors question why they should bother to learn a new technology when the old flip phone—or rotary dial—works just fine.
While that argument certainly has validity, there really are a plethora of reasons seniors should take advantage of new forms of communication.
Learning new skills, at any age, has been proven to improve emotional and psychological health. Whether that new skill is setting up a social media account to keep up with friends and family members (seniors can Facebook stalk too), or learning to Skype with family members who are far away, the satisfaction of learning that new skill and being able to interact more freely with the world ultimately outweighs the frustration felt during the learning process.
My 71-year-old father was always quick to advise me never to “quit at the one-yard line”; however, when facing the challenge of setting up a social media account, it was I who had to remind him. In just a few days time, he had it down, and he now spends a little time each day reaching out to former colleagues, students and friends. People he used to see every five or ten years, he can now reach out and speak to any day.
At 71, Dad now has an iPad and can even video chat with his four sons and eight grandchildren via Skype whenever he wants—right from his armchair. Taking advantage of these new technologies has enabled him to have more face time with the people he cares about. Equally as important, it has enabled our family members to spend more time with him as well.
When learning new technology for seniors, it is important to remember that at any age a new skill takes time to master. Nobody learns it all in a day, and patience is key.
Give those words some thought—and with a little adventure, anyone can feel the satisfaction of texting, Skyping, emailing or tweeting.
If you’re interested in learning more about utilizing new technology for seniors to communicate with your loved ones, contact us. Preferred Care at Home specializes in helping your family stay in touch using the latest and most user friendly communications technologies available.