Monday, March 16, 2020

Older Adult Technology Use (Research, Video 3:14)

I remember when I had to dial a phone number to access the Internet. Technology has come a mighty long way. My early computers all had names, and I vented my frustrations to them personally when they harassed me daily with their complicated maneuvers. Sapphire, an overbearing laptop of a woman loved, hated, and tormented me with a vengeance that forced me to write poems about our ongoing squabbles. With all these haunting memories, however, I still must confess that mastering the basics and more has been one of the best things I have ever done and continue to do. 

Every day, I see important examples of how I would have been left behind if I had not taken advantage of opportunities to navigate my way on the Internet, even basically. When TV news reporters make comments about going “to our website for more information" about disaster assistance, product recalls, high crime and accident locations, etc., I am reminded of all the people who are unable to receive these services on their own and probably worry about what they are missing. 

Research on older adults reports that those who continue using the Internet are more likely to gain significant cognitive improvement. Even though numerous public facilities offer free or inexpensive technology classes for using computers, smart phones, etc., too many older adults have refused to try them or have given up by saying, “I don’t do all that computer stuff. It’s just too confusing.”
Research results conclude that "older adults who continue using the Internet were more likely to gain significant cognitive gains and lower cognitive loss. Promoting Internet use in older adults can help a strategy for cognitive stimulation in older adults."

The following video shares important statistics on how older adults use technology to meet and expand their information needs:

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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