My grandmother was born in the 1930’s. Looking back in history, I think it is fair to say she have lived through some of the most interesting decades to date. The pictures she and my dad has of his childhood in the 50’s and 60’s seems like a whole world away too me. If there is something my grandmother has been brilliant at, it has been to keep up with the times.
She was a housewife, but decided to go back to school, became a student advisor, learnt english when it became increasingly important and got a cellphone even tough she hardly ever turned it on for the first year of having it. She is an excellent example of an older generation who want to learn about new technology and use it as a tool, both for practical reasons and to communicate with family and friends. My dad and his siblings got my grandmother a iPad for her birthday a year ago, and since then it has been her favourite possession. Why? Because it enables her to e-mail all of her grandkids (there are seven of us) and for us to send photographs to her. But what might even more important is that it has enabled my grandmother to read books again. On her iPad she can enlarge the text if she struggles to see, plus it enables her to change the background light to make the contrast clearer.
However, a 2009 survey from the Office of National statistics have shown that more then 6 million people over the age of 65 have not used the internet. A shockingly large number in a world where everything seems to be computerised. So what is stopping elderly people from going online? Many fear technology, for example because they have heard about the dangers of internet scams or viruses. Learning new things takes longer time when we get older, and many people might not think that they need to use it as we get older.
But if you think about it, internet really is the optimal tool for the elderly population. Internet could for example be used to look for the cheapest deals, too look for discounts or to access services such as food delivery for those who struggle to physically do their grocery shopping.
Here is an article from The Telegraph about how Internet can help the elderly population prevent isolation and loneliness. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9709233/Getting-pensioners-online-could-solve-elderly-loneliness-crisis.html
I find this article so interesting but would also like to end this post by saying that we still need to take care of each other and no computer in the world can replace real life interaction.