5274 Scotts Valley Dr #102 Scotts Valley, CA 95066 831-430-0616 www.VisitingAngels.com/SantaCruz 229 Reindollar Ave., Suite E Marina, CA 93933 831-392-0876 www.VisitingAngels.com/Monterey
When Grandma Got an iPad The Value of Technology in Our Seniors’ Lives
Several years ago, my daughters gave Grandma an iPad for Christmas. She had an old home computer, but with the iPad, we could stay connected to her with FaceTime and Skype, as well as through email and Facebook. Because she was mentally sharp and an excellent typist, we thought she would quickly learn how to use her new iPad. Turns out, we were way off. The touch-screen technology was so foreign to her. For the first month, every interaction with the iPad ended in frustration. We finally got her a stylus and a keyboard, and while the familiar technology helped, what made the biggest impact was enrolling her in an iPad class for seniors. She came home after the first class so excited. “I didn’t know the iPad could do all this!” At that point, there were only three more sessions left in the course. “Think about what it would be like if I’d been through the whole series,” she said. “I’d know everything!” There’s a myth that people over 50 are technologically impaired. In my experience, seniors are entirely capable of learning anything they want! When it comes to technology,
a senior’s life. Staying connected to your community is important, and even if a senior isn’t able to leave their home as often, social media has
been shown to help strengthen that connection. They can keep in touch with friends and neighbors
and share details about their life. A study conducted in the United Kingdom and Italy found that seniors who learn how to use social media, Skype, and email report higher levels of mental and physical health than seniors who do not adopt this technology. Our Visiting Angels caregivers often help our seniors stay connected through technology. Family members can be spread out over great distances, and while phone calls are great, getting that face-to-face contact using FaceTime or Skype on a weekly basis can really strengthen relationships. When family members do come together in person, they already feel connected. Grandparents don’t feel like they have to get to know their grandchild. Technology can be especially important for empowering seniors to be a part of special family moments. When my youngest daughter graduated from college, Grandma was too sick to fly down to join us. Fortunately, the school livestreamed the graduation ceremony. Using her iPad, she was able to watch her granddaughter walk across the stage with the rest of us. In fact, she had a much better view! While we sat in the far back, she later told us, “I had front row seats.” Talk about technology being able to help seniors connect with their family!
they might not learn as quickly as someone of a younger generation, but for many, it’s their first time interacting with such gadgets. It’s like learning a foreign language. It may be challenging at first, but with time and practice, anyone can become fluent. There are so many ways technology can improve
“A study conducted in the United Kingdom and Italy found that seniors who learn how to use social media, Skype, and email report higher levels of mental and physical health than seniors who do not adopt this technology.”
Cindy Saunders, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
831-430-0616 | 1
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