Virtually Challenged

Epilepsy
June 16, 2020

Virtually Challenged

It’s amazing to think how much technology is in our everyday lives. We wake up every morning to the sound of the alarm clock on our phones. We then open the Weather app to see what the weather will be like for the day, and we use our Spotify account to listen to music on the way to work. Little things like this is what makes day to day life run a little smoother. Don’t get it twisted, it’s not only the millennials who are taking advantage of technology, the baby boomers are just as tech savvy. For the elderly, they have gotten accustomed to technology. Almost 70% percent of the older generation uses technology for everyday tasks. In a way, it helps them connect to the current generation, allows them to be more independent, and keeps them in touch with friends and family members.

Computers and smart phones are some of the most valuable tools available to help older Americans remain in their homes. It makes life easier with applications for online shopping, and deliveries. For instance, my 87 year old grandmother gets all her medications sent to her house. Picking up medications is one of the hardest things to do for her, especially when she has about 10 medications to take on a daily basis. Ever since her husband passed away, it had been very difficult for her to do simple everyday errands. She does not drive and her memory isn’t that great, so taking public transportation is not the best option. Medicaid even offers online ordering for personal needs such as tooth paste, vitamins, and ointments delivered straight to her door. This benefit is great, compared to when she had to find someone to take her to the local drug store to pick out these items in person; now she can do it in the comfort of her home. She also uses amazon fresh and prime to receive groceries at her door step. From time to time she even likes to jump on Uber eats and order take out. Applications like these to everyone else seem to be a casual thing, but for people like my grandmother and all elderly it is a necessity.

Research indicates that social isolation and loneliness have a negative effect on health and wellbeing among older individuals. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube keep the elderly entertained and connected to their friends and family. My grandmother does not like to leave the house much, she has a lot of back pain and has dizzy spells quite often due to her low blood pressure and weak heart from two heart attacks. Even though she has these medical conditions, it does not stop her from calling her friends on video and chatting up a storm. Because of technology, she is able to communicate with her friends and is able to keep her relationships alive. Also, she has always loved music and live entertainment. She spends a lot of her free time on YouTube looking up her favorite artist and having karaoke sessions in her room. Being at home all the time can be quite lonely, but with applications like these it allows her to keep living a life with communication and human interaction.

Technology today plays a significant role in the elderly; the Internet, social networking sites, and video calling services allows them to stay connected with all types of generations. The next time you are with an older person, take a second and listen to their needs. Ask them what they do on a day to day basis, ask them what makes them connected to technology and how it keeps them connected to everyday life.

By: Tess Cardenas    

Epilepsy Florida March 25th, 2020    

Message Type: Entertaining; Educational; Fun

Sources:

[https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303817159_The_impact_of_technology_on_older_adults’_social_isolation]

[https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/07/no-longer-just-for-the-young-70-of-seniors-are-now-online/]