I remember vividly for some reason the day I texted my daughter for the first time. I was almost 60, she was a sophomore in college. My phone was now a blackberry I needed for work reasons and I gave it a shot. She said she was running around screaming, “My mother can text!”, to her roommates. Having children later in life I knew that this was one of several tech bridges I had to cross and cross quickly. Since that time it has brought a multitude of practical and comforting messages. Those little tiny pieces of text that let you know – home safe, miss you, a weather alert, I forget to tell you and much much more.
After moving from our home of over 30 years, the texts that appear at random times now help to continue old relationships, sharing the good and the bad. Staying in touch can be just a few words well put. They talk about the digital divide in terms of the lack of computers for some children growing up in this information driven world. It also creates a digital wall that some older folks do not want to or can not breach.
Nothing can replace family and friends or at least a kind neighbor checking in on an older resident of the neighborhood by a visit or a phone call. All the investment in the newest monitoring technologies makes that method of keeping in touch seem cold and stark. Endless tech systems to monitor the opening of refrigerator doors or pill boxes and the pressure of feet or bodies hitting the floor seem like a last ditch effort to keep some one aging in place. Maybe sometimes that has to be part of the deal.
I am thinking of adding a new section to my website menu called future forward AIP as in age in peace. It seems there needs to be another kind of bridge between the have and the have nots regarding smart simple tech. So I am going to start to make things up and see if any enterprising older entrepreneurs out there want to go for it!
Many people after a certain age would not think of starting to learn to use a smart phone. But relying on more technology is something that can not be avoided. Isolation is too devastating and learning how simple it can be to keep in touch may make life easier later. Yes I know cell phones plans are expensive but what about a basic senior connect plan that includes simple equipment and basic services.
On my side of the age bracket (leading edge boomer born 1946-1950), I can see my smart phone turning in hand held device with strong speakers. It would be a combination of the artificial intelligence talk back to you chat bot technology (answering questions), the daily phone call (robot or human checking in on on medical issues and/or an alarm system (that responses to voice commands). To be more specific as vision and hearing become more of a challenge, voice command can be a powerful thing.
The texting I do now could be done by voice couldn’t it? If my phone is always in the room or voice range could I not give a command to send a text? All this may actually help keep the brain working and reinforce your social circle, as well as reassure a call for help will be answered and that you are not alone.
*I hope to get the Age in Peace future forward section going in the next month to celebrate one year of the website….thank you for your continued readership and stay tuned!
Now available subscribe by email for newest post….see bottom of web page