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How is technology affecting our senior citizens?

Everybody is familiar with the old joke about children having to teach their elders how to use the DVD or TV remote. But what has been the real impact of technology on our senior citizens? We asked you and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. It seems as though laptops, tablets and mobile phones are embraced by the older generation, and there were even some indignant reactions to the idea that age is a barrier to using technology! There is a sense of pride in being able to operate the latest gadgets, and recognition of the benefits in keeping the grey matter active.

There are some negative issues with technology though, and of all the devices available, if the older generation struggles with anything, it is the smartphone. The small size of the text is an issue for some.

“I have a Samsung phone and thought that I could combine my smartphone usage and laptop into one. Here’s the tip – DON’T DO IT.’ The print is so small that I have difficulty seeing and reading any of my emails and looking up the weather is hopeless.” Magus

A phone is still just a phone to many - the concept of a phone as a multi-functional item is still alien for some older users. But this is not the case for everyone – KezzaD8 says “My mum loves the iPhone 5. She plays games & Facetimes all the time. Loves taking photos and posting on Facebook, updating her status. She is 70!”

For others, finding out how to use items such as iPads and smartphones is a major stumbling block. Instruction manuals are, in your opinion, frequently useless and difficult to understand, and there is also the issue of the tiny print in the manuals.

“My instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired. I had to get some of the details I needed online.” Blossom

Several of you have attended community run training courses to get up to speed, and the internet is another source of information. But the main resource you use for assistance is younger family members. And in fact, it is these family members that drive your relationship with technology. Keeping in touch with family via Facebook, Facetime and Skype is of huge importance to our senior citizens. Being able to speak to family overseas and see grandchildren via Skype when they live too far away to see them regularly is priceless. So it seems that the relationship between senior citizens and technology is the same as what it is to the younger generations – it is about keeping connected with others and the world at large. And the benefits it brings are worth the extra little challenges this group sometimes faces in learning how to tackle it.

Last reply: 17th Jun 2014 / 24 replies / Post by Cafestudy Admin

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Hobboe

Posted by: Hobboe
Posted: 22nd Oct 2013

Hobboe says: My problem is that while the new technology devices are good and very clever, they are not actually replacing functions (etc.) that you do with mobile phones and laptops.
PLUS if you are not into music, games, photos and contacting, the new devices are no big deal. They are really just big phones.

My iphone has no apps and I made a mistake in purchasing it. Like buying a Hummer when you need a town car. Reply

nixon

Posted by: nixon
Posted: 26th Oct 2013

Hobboe says: My problem is that while the new technology devices are good and very clever, they are not actually replacing functions (etc.) that you do with mobile phones and laptops.
PLUS if you are not...

nixon says: Yes thats true new technology are not replacing function and it indroduces a whole new system and the only way we can get into the new system is to learno to use it even if it takes a time. Reply

Ingi

Posted by: Ingi
Posted: 4th Nov 2013

nixon says: Yes thats true new technology are not replacing function and it indroduces a whole new system and the only way we can get into the new system is to learno to use it even if it takes a time.

Ingi says: True new technology takes a bit of time to learn, like everything else, time and patience and sometimes plenty of it, when I worked for 37 years at a local newspaper in a small town, over that period of time I had to learn 12 new programs that were introduced to us to be able to carry on with new technology which was supposed to make things smoother and faster, but alas the last one 2 years ago I found it had a lot of old and similar things that we did say 30 years ago, of course technology is marvellous nowadays, don't know where they will go in another 20 years time. So now I enjoy doing things on my laptop, I am now nearly 72 years old and was introduced to computers at work from 1975. Amazing how far technology has advanced in that time. Reply

Garna

Posted by: Garna
Posted: 17th Mar 2014

nixon says: Yes thats true new technology are not replacing function and it indroduces a whole new system and the only way we can get into the new system is to learno to use it even if it takes a time.

Garna says: The use of technology and its’ providing information allows the elderly to face more easily the difficulties of modern life, trespassing the limits of their social and emotional isolation, thus achieving a more qualitative living... :) Reply

lesley

Posted by: lesley
Posted: 27th Dec 2013

Hobboe says: My problem is that while the new technology devices are good and very clever, they are not actually replacing functions (etc.) that you do with mobile phones and laptops.
PLUS if you are not...

lesley says: Hi i think the same way i will be 59 next year and i have had to learn how to use computers i do not have a smart phone and do not want one and when you are learning all of this it is costing money on downloading and uploading and you never know what they are talking about so yes when we get to an age the gover should pay for us to learn as even with Centerlink it is all done on a computer not in the office and after paying taxes all your life they should give us some thing back Reply

penny farthing

Posted by: penny farthing
Posted: 28th Dec 2013

lesley says: Hi i think the same way i will be 59 next year and i have had to learn how to use computers i do not have a smart phone and do not want one and when you are learning all of this it is costing money...

penny farthing says: Not sure I agree that Government should teach us to learn how to use a computer, lesley, however, I've found that I've got my head around most things I need. Would love my grand-daughter to spend a bit more time with me instead of just saying 'you just do this' and walking away!!! She only visits infrequently as the lives quite a distance away - grrrrr!! Some kids love to help but not this one! So I just flounder on!! Reply

lesley

Posted by: lesley
Posted: 29th Dec 2013

penny farthing says: Not sure I agree that Government should teach us to learn how to use a computer, lesley, however, I've found that I've got my head around most things I need. Would love my grand-daughter to spend...

lesley says: Hi Pen i think that the Government spends more money on silly things such as helping boat people having people keep them safe while half of real Australians are without a home i will give one example I live in Mission Australia Housing and they are for people over 50 but we have a father and son in one unit that are boat people and only have bridging visas then there is one man from Africian that works and both these familys pay less rent then me then we have a lady that ownes her own home rents it out for $400.00 p/w and get gov housing for the price and pension then there is a lady that has been given a lot and by lot i mean a lot of money NEW CAR THINGS ON HER PATIO ARE WORTH MORE THEN DICK SMITH so why should the gov give all this out and not help the REAL AUSTRALIAN and as i live in a place that i can speak as i wish then this is how i think so i think we agree to disagree on this one and hay we all have the right to say what we feel Reply

penny farthing

Posted by: penny farthing
Posted: 29th Dec 2013

lesley says: Hi Pen i think that the Government spends more money on silly things such as helping boat people having people keep them safe while half of real Australians are without a home i will give one...

penny farthing says: Hi Lesley! Well I must say I agree with what you have said today, however, I was just saying we can't expect the Govt. to pay for everything. The things you have pointed out today are extremely disgusting and you should report some of these to Centrelink anon. of course! So, no, I don't disagree with the majority of what you say and agree we should be able to vent our frustrations in our so-called 'free country'! The likes of Sarah Hansen-Young and her Green friends are a disgrace on the boat people and other illegal immigrants. Reply

joany

Posted by: joany
Posted: 20th Jan 2014

penny farthing says: Hi Lesley! Well I must say I agree with what you have said today, however, I was just saying we can't expect the Govt. to pay for everything. The things you have pointed out today are extremely...

joany says: The boat people are not illegal immigrants, so talk sense and have some charity. Illegal immigrants are those who come in with visas and then stay for as long as they can without being caught out. Reply

chickclaire

Posted by: chickclaire
Posted: 26th Jan 2014

joany says: The boat people are not illegal immigrants, so talk sense and have some charity. Illegal immigrants are those who come in with visas and then stay for as long as they can without being caught out.

chickclaire says: It's wonderful that migrants to this country can find somewhere to stay. If they live amongst us they will learn to be productive and valuable members of the community. Recently our leader Tony Abbott has made life hard on all migrants on temporary visas. I'm not sure what to expect but it certainly is not government funded IT lessons Reply

penny farthing

Posted by: penny farthing
Posted: 28th Dec 2013

lesley says: Hi i think the same way i will be 59 next year and i have had to learn how to use computers i do not have a smart phone and do not want one and when you are learning all of this it is costing money...

penny farthing says: Not sure I agree that Government should teach us to learn how to use a computer, lesley, however, I've found that I've got my head around most things I need. Would love my grand-daughter to spend a bit more time with me instead of just saying 'you just do this' and walking away!!! She only visits infrequently as the lives quite a distance away - grrrrr!! Some kids love to help but not this one! So I just flounder on!! Reply

penny farthing

Posted by: penny farthing
Posted: 28th Dec 2013

lesley says: Hi i think the same way i will be 59 next year and i have had to learn how to use computers i do not have a smart phone and do not want one and when you are learning all of this it is costing money...

penny farthing says: Oops! Just showed how inept I am :) posting same reply twice!! Reply

super88

Posted by: super88
Posted: 20th Jan 2014

super88 says: On a Virgin airline flight. We (the passengers) were given the usual safety instruction, in which we were reminded to turn off our mobile phones. The stewardess included the following in her list of safety instructions
"If you do not know how to turn off your mobile phone look around the cabin , there are a few 10 year olds that will be able to help you"

It seems pretty much accepted that there are some older people who have decided they don't need to use every aspect of this new fangled stuff. Reply

Kessa1959

Posted by: Kessa1959
Posted: 21st Jan 2014

Kessa1959 says: My parents, both of whom are in their 80's have embraced technology. They have mobile phones, mum uses facebook and email to keep in touch with her grandchildren and dad has just purchased a laptop computer which he uses to edit his photos.
The only thing they are looking at changing is replacing their mobiles with smart phones as the keys on their mobiles are too difficult to send texts with. Reply

zain

Posted by: zain
Posted: 26th Jan 2014

zain says: The new inventions have definitly opend the door for interactions for youngsters but left elders in the state of eagerness and doubtful about using those devices and things. Elders with Good observation still needs advises and tutelage for using this stuff some with lack of observation needs to told the same thing again and again. However, one should always say facts that are already foretold again n again in a repeated manner. As old Brain forgets the things depending upon thi.er sitautions and cases they need to retold the scenarios and stuff
Reply

Kamac

Posted by: Kamac
Posted: 22nd Feb 2014

Kamac says: I find it very frustrating and I'm not even that old (63). Just answering the mobile or making a call is not easy for me because as I touch a buttom it sets off other things I don't want. Love to go back to the basics. A phone should be just for phoning! Reply

goanna

Posted by: goanna
Posted: 3rd Mar 2014

goanna says: I think it is important they learn everything but doesn't mean to say they can adapt to new technology, depending on their age. I'm having trouble with some of it, especially the Samsung Smart mobile phone which is a sheer headache to use especially when the call goes mute while speaking. Rather annoying!!!! Never had that problem using the Nokia mobile. Reply

Garna

Posted by: Garna
Posted: 17th Mar 2014

Garna says: Aging is a normal procedure in which deduction in all biological and mental
functions takes place, leading to exhaustion and losing patience. Older people constantly face with the challenges of contemporary reality, as the ever-evolving technology. For this reason, they need appropriate support and guidance in order to satisfactorily meet with the difficulties of everyday living.

The use of technology and its’ providing information allows the elderly to face more easily the difficulties of modern life, trespassing the limits of their social and emotional isolation, thus achieving a more qualitative living..
Reply

dale2536

Posted by: dale2536
Posted: 24th Mar 2014

dale2536 says: Reply

dinodino

Posted by: dinodino
Posted: 29th Mar 2014

dinodino says: The first time I used the smart phone is when I started to go to the university. My mom and brother taught me how to use the smart phone because I never use it before in my life and it looked like an alien to me. When I started to learn, I was really surprised because the smart phone is very different from old Nokia ( I used before). Everything is news to me and I really love it! Now I can play games, take a picture, watch movie, etc. I also talk to my family in WhatsApp anytime. The smart phone is good for work and family. Reply

Di-zee

Posted by: Di-zee
Posted: 13th Apr 2014

Di-zee says: It is sad to say that no matter how any of us in our family try to teach the folks the new technology; A mobile phone, it is hopeless. We have showed them how to use a basic one. So they can have it on there person when out. It is so alien to them. Yet when you think back to all the technology that they went throughout all there life a mobile would be easy. We have given up showing them how to use a computer. As it is beyond them. Don't get me wrong they marval at being able to skype and talk to all our relatives around Australia as long as someone is there to do it for them. I never thought at the age of 80 it would be beyond them. Well Foxtell has even got them confused Reply

salvia

Posted by: salvia
Posted: 22nd Apr 2014

salvia says: I live on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne and here we have about 18 Senior Groups and many Probus Clubs - when the government were giving out the computers for teaching people how to use the computer at the Sorrento Seniors we had over 80 people go thru the program one of these was a man in his 90's who is now on the computer daily. He has had no problems with the computer, loves it, uses Skype and all of the resources that young people use - and is now doing his family tree.
It is just the matter of getting use to using electronic equipment, perseverance, must say that he loves it and is doing a great deal of research on the computer.
regards - Jeanette Lane Reply

Preeti

Posted by: Preeti
Posted: 3rd Jun 2014

Preeti says: My elders find it very difficult Reply

socker

Posted by: socker
Posted: 17th Jun 2014

socker says: I own a smart phone and a standard mobile phone which just does talk and text. I mainly use the standard phone because that is really all I want from a mobile. If I want to watch TV or listen to the radio I use those devices.

I have no desire when out to watch TV, read, email, or listen to music. If I had wanted to do any of these I would not of been out and about.

Another problem with the smart phone is the touch screen. My trade when I worked was a blacksmith and my fingers are not used to such dexterity. I find I often push the wrong thing when I want to do something.

To me, the people that design these things just do it because they can and to see who can make the smallest with the most gimmicks that will rarely be used by the average person. . Reply