The internet and the elderly

4th October 2015

The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is often applied when the subject comes up of elderly people using computers, the internet and the fast developing world of smart phones and tablet computers, but a recent experience in our family goes to show that this isn’t true.

My 82 year old mother-in-law is a family matriarch who likes to know what everybody in the family is getting up to and became curious as to how all the younger members of the family were so well informed about what each other was doing by reading updates on Facebook and posts on Twitter, so she has now taken the plunge.

My sister-in-law helped her choose a good package and she’s now got a smart phone and a tablet computer and has also had broadband installed at home. She’s signed up on Facebook and is Facebook friends with all her children, their partners, grand children, nephews and nieces, together with other friends from across the world and is really enjoying the fact that she now knows what her niece in Australia did at the weekend, what long time family friends are doing in Canada and what one of her daughters did on a recent holiday to Beijing. It’s great to receive comments on status updates, although sometimes these are a bit random, as she freely admits that on occasion she gets slightly confused – but practice makes perfect, as they say.

The good news for us is this has become another way for her to communicate with the family and helps us monitor her wellbeing.

Using a smartphone to keep in touch with family

Family gatherings now become training sessions on how to use a new feature, the last one was all about e-mail, but watch out Twitter you may well be next!!


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