Internet Enrichment for Seniors who are Capable of Using Computers (but don’t)

There is no one answer to why some capable, aging parents don’t use a computer–another resource that can help parents age well.  A few reasons were offered in the last post. More recent questioning of older people elicited:

Comfort Level Reasons

1.  Older people are satisfied with things the way they are. Why make problems if they’re happy with the status quo?
2.  They aren’t interested in learning anything new.
3.  Any initial interest in learning to use a computer is ultimately overruled by the necessity of disrupting one’s comfort level (which includes concerns about being able to learn and about internet security).
4.  When it involves “home,” they don’t want it “torn up.” Thoughts of making a hole in the wall for internet access is unnerving, whether in a home or in an apartment lacking internet accessibility.

Financial Reasons

1.  While the price of computers has clearly come down, they do cost money.
2.  Installing internet access costs money.
3.  Then there’s the monthly charge for internet access.

The above bears keeping in mind if you decide to plunge in and discuss getting a computer with your parents; as does the “keep it simple, stupid” rule. If it’s complicated, forget it. Which brings us to computers recommended in past posts, but with a different twist.
1.  Paw Paw http://pawpawmail.com/ The simplest technology-just email. But it does connect seniors to the outside world. A baby step towards the internet’s capabilities.
2.  A computer: Regardless of make or model, start simple.  Instruct how to E-mail, Google, Forward an e-mail, and Click on a forward, for example Live-Streaming (eg. the previously suggested link:http://www.livestream.com/nytnestcam , where viewing the baby red-tailed hawk and its parents is addictive and educational),  or YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jca_p_3FcWA&feature=related, where Susan Boyle’s 1st audition is thrilling. The latter two forwards highlight examples of the educational and musical potential.
3. The iPad: small, light-weight. Teaching parents the basics above, and selecting a few appropriate apps, gets parents started.  Once again check out Marti Weston’s blog and her 80-something-year-old dad’s experience after she gifted him with an iPad:http://asourparentsage.net/2010/12/03/holiday-gift-buying-an-ipad-for-your-senior-parent/#more-5951.

Father’s Day is June 19th.  Yet there are other excuses to gift capable parents with a computer, internet access, and some of your time to teach some basics. If siblings and others want to chip in, so much the better. Once aging parents get the hang of it, won’t they be entertained, connected, and possibly forever grateful?

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