The Elderly & Their Use of Technology

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    How many people do you know who are 70+ who use computers? (I don't want to count cell phones because I think more people view them as necessities, so people of older age groups are more proned to have them.)

    A long time friend of my mom's who's in her late 60s & a retired 3rd grade teacher BTW, doesn't have a computer. (She has a cell phone though.)

    I don't know how anyone can live w/o a computer, but I realize that for the elderly, they know nothing about computers & don't feel like learning all about it, etc.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm sincerely hoping that that paragraph was a case of "I'm bored and prone to hyperbole."

    Food, water, shelter, affection....yes. A computer, most definitely, NO.

    It provides me with entertainment. It sometimes makes my schoolwork a bit easier. It provides me easy access to both shopping and information.

    But could I live without one?? OF COURSE!!!! I did until after I was married. To the best of my knowledge, my dad lived his entire life without ever sitting down to a computer, and he lived a very rich life.

    In the history of mankind, computers have been around for a nano-second.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Lots.
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    :lol:

    I know plenty of "elders" who not only use the computer, but are taking college classes and starting their own businesses!

    It is true it is easier to learn some things when you are "younger," but crossing over to "elderly" doesn't mean you are dead! Plus Ms. I, I am sorry :) to point out that you are generalizing. Sorry, I am deep in multicultural ed and it just popped out at me! :whistle:
     
  6. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Not trying to ruffle any feathers, just starting another topic of discussion here. I'm all for the elderly learning computers...the more the merrier.

    Yes, although I know technically we can ALL live without it, I'm just stating an exaggeration. :)
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    For what it's worth, I can't remember the last time I turned my cell phone on.

    And I've never sent or received a text message.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    My own parents aren't very technological. My mom uses a computer at work & home, but she barely knows how to use her cell. Neither of them know how to program the VCR to record a show or play a DVD. I have to type out directions for them or just do it for them.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    My grandparents were one of the first people I knew with a computer, maybe 1985ish when they got their first home computer. I remember the first game I played with 3 colors - a Wheel of Fortune game that took FOREVER for "Vanna" to walk across and turn the letters lol. My grandfather has been working on a literal translation of the bible and how the meaning has changed over the years for different reasons for most of his life and the computer has been a tremendous help to him. My grandmother loves to keep in touch with friends and family and play games - including a new version of Wheel ;) I don't think having a computer is a real necessity, but it is close to it like having a phone of some kind isn't truly a necessity, but it sure is nice and convenient.
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I do not consider myself elderly (I am 43) but I will admit that I am a computer geek but bo not have any idea how to use our DVR and never text. I do not know how to use the DVR because with 3 teenagers in and out, I would never get to watch it anyway so why bother. I do not text because I cannot read text that small. My kids know that if they text me, they will get a phone call back. My friends all call me because they know that if they text me, I am going to call them back anyway. I do not even bring my cell phone into my house. I lost the charger several years ago and only have a car charger so I leave it there. Everyone calls me on my house phone. I think that my MIL and father (both are 72), spend all their time on the computer. I receive about 20 e-mails daily form each.
     
  11. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    My mother-in-law is 85. She uses her computer everyday to email and play her games. She also has a cell phone that is always in her pocket. She's great!
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Ms I - no ruffled feathers here! I meant my comments light hearted. I have to say, you do come up with some interesting topics.

    I think some of our "elders" just aren't that interested in computers because they are more into real human interaction. There is something to be said for that too.

    Personally, once I figured out texting I LOVED it. I can text DD and she will answer me right away, where a phone call might be inconvenient or maybe we don't have much time to talk. I lovelovelove texting! I wake up 3 time zones away from my family, and there is a good morning waiting for me -meanwhile they are at lunch already.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Thanks! :D
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Plus I love your dog.
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Awww, thank you! :)
     
  16. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Ditto for my parents. My parents are 83 and 87. My dad uses the computer for the stock market and his bridge scores ( he is a life time master and still plays twice a week) and my mom e-mails her daughters and 7 grandchildren. They're not too much into the cell phone. They have one only for emergencies.
     
  17. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    We have friends who are many years older than we are. When they saw computers were becoming the wave of the future, way back when, they immediately started taking college courses to learn. Now they both can do back flips over me and my college daughter! I think it just depends on a person's interest.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    My mom is 63, and she doesn't have a cell phone or computer or even a television. My dad did have a cell phone, but he rarely used it. I'm sure that if they had found a use for one, they would have used one. My FIL and MIL never had anything either.

    It's really all what you are used to using.

    I was 12 when I got my first computer, and I always had all kinds of technology available to me. It's just part of what I do. It has become integrated into my life. Now, DH did not grow up with technology, and he still has no use for it. In fact, the few things he does know how to do with a computer are things that I taught him.

    On the other hand, my 79 year old uncle uses email & computers all the time. He retired from a field where computers were commonplace.
     
  19. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    My grandmother in Florida has a laptop. She used it to e-mail. My cousin in Arizona sends her photos and videos of her great-grandchild. She doesn't actually know how to use it very well, but the home nurse that comes daily helps her.
     
  20. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    My grandparents have a computer...both are over the age of 70. Before my great-grandmother passed away last year at the age of 93, she knew how to use the computer...and I wish I would have written to her more. I miss her very much.
     
  21. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    That's great bonneb & scienceteach82 that they had the intrest to learn it.
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Let's go the opposite route. I have a baby sister that was in her 23 and still learning what the - box and x buttons are at the top right hand of the computer PC screen and thus didn't know how to close out a computer window. Nor did she know how to resize a window so she could have 2 screens at the same time. I remember this because my mother went out and bought her a state of the art computer and I remember thinking it was lost on someone like her. She was taking college classes so she should have been able to do basic functions on a computer. I haven't seen her in a while but knowing she works at a dentist office (in the office), I'm betting she has learned a little bit.
     
  23. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My grandmother is 94 and has learned to buy online (though that might not be a good idea!). My other grandparents are in their late 70s and both email and use the computer alot more than what I use it for.
     
  24. bros

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    My step grandmother was taught by my grandfather how to use a computer before he passed. My grandfather was very very good with computers, he used to work with Bell Labs as a hardware guy in the 60s.

    My step grandfather also knows how to use the computer, and is trying to teach my grandmother how to use the computer
     
  25. Jem

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    My mother's parents died before computers became practical, but I think they could have gone either way. My grandfather was a poet, and my grandmother would type up all his poems for publishing. I remember her sitting at the typewriter for HOURS a day. I'm sure a computer would have been a huge help to her, and word processing isn't much different. My grandfather was very much into research and publishing-he found a Native American artifact site on a dig in Michigan and had part of a museum named after him, etc. I could see him interested in webpage design to publish his findings. Whether they would have had the patience to learn is another thing-they were extremely 'old fashion' in their living style (my grandfather used cereal boxes to file paperwork...) so it might have been too much for them.

    My dad's parents TRIED e-mail. They had some weird keyboard that would hook up to their phone-they could send and read e-mail, but nothing else. I never understood it, nor did I ever get their e-mail address. I think they rarely checked it.

    My parents are extremely computer literate. My mom HAS to be-she's in charge of development for a school district in Michigan, so she's constantly applying for grants, creating web sites, working in Excel, etc. When she came out over the summer, she was teaching ME how to streamline the business using my computer-she helped me buy a new laptop. My dad is also quite good-he's always been right there buying the newest kind of computer as they came out. They were stuck on dial-up for the longest time, however, and sometimes have issues with computer tasks that seem simple to dh and I-editing photos, etc. They are mid 50's, so not elderly by my standards at all.

    My in-laws, however, are not so savy with the computer. They never have their cell phone and don't know how to get voicemail, so we never leave messages. We will send them e-mails and never know if they get them. My mother in law doesn't touch the computer, and complains when father in law is on it. She sees it as wasting time (may be true?). My father in law can sit behind his laptop for hours and hours and hours, mostly doing stuff with music and reading news. So he likes his laptop, but who knows what he's doing on it. They are late 50's.

    I do personally consider a computer a necessity in MY life. And I think dh would say the same. Everything we do is on the computer. It's how I stay in touch with my friends (Facebook, A-Z, e-mail), it's how I publish my work and build a brand for myself (numerous websites), how I know how to get ANYWHERE (googlemaps, google search), how we're shopping for a house (Redfin), how I shop for clothes and household items as I have no time for stores (Anthro.com, Modcloths.com, Craigslist), it's how I work with my student (iMovie, iWeb, word publishing, Rosetta Stone, ect.), how I keep track of important paperwork (filing taxes, all educational certificates, ect.), how I look for jobs (EdJoin.org, Craigslist, company sites)-I could go on.

    My life is online, and I go to the web immediately for any task that needs to be done. Any recipe I want to cook-I look it up. We even visit Yelp before going out to eat to read reviews. Dh has an iPhone, and he's CONSTANTLY on it. I know there are ways to live without a computer, but with our busy lifestyle, it's a must. At one point, we had 7 laptops in this house. Extreme, yes-I'll admit that! ;)
     
  26. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Before my father-in-law passed away (almost 20 years ago!) he was building a home PC. While horribly antiquated now, it tells me that, had he lived, he would probably be the most computer-savvy of the family.
     
  27. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    We're getting ready to set my 80 y.o., 100 lbs mom up for Facebook. She's awesome.
     
  28. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    My grandparents have a computer and laptop, I know that all of most of their friends do as well. I don't know all that many people over 70 other than those mentioned, but the ones I know use technology quite a bit.
     
  29. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Oh, and I have a hard time seeing my grandparents and most of their friends as elderly, even though they are over 70.
     
  30. SandyCastles

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    My grandmother loves her computer so much. She plays bingo and other games on it all day. If I go to her house and something is wrong with it, she always slyly finds a way to ask me to fix it so she can play those games. She started liking 'electronics' when we were young and the original Nintendo was out. She and my grandfather would play that with my brother and sister and I (but mostly without us). I think the computer does her well because it feeds her casino obsession, but she plays the free games when she is home!
    As for cell phones, my grandmother will carry hers in case of emergency, and I think she knows how to turn it on, but I am not sure that she knows how to make an actual call!
     

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