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Christina Pierpaoli is a Killam Fellow at the University of Toronto examining healthy aging among HIV-positive Canadian elderly. Christina plans to continue researching at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health & Human Development and enter her final year at American University, where she is a double major in psychology and public health. She is particularly interested in aging and life span development.

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  1. Madeleine Kolb
    Madeleine Kolb at | | Reply

    Clearly, it’s common to ascribe all sorts of reactions and behaviours of old people as due solely to aging. However, I’m surprised by the statement that ”
    It’s not so intuitive, I’d imagine, for boomers to sit down and talk to a computer screen when all their life, their idea of long-distance communication has been picking up a stationary house phone or writing down thoughts with a fountain pen.”

    For starters, the oldest of the Baby Boomers (those born in 1946) are now 66 or 67, and many of them have been using computers for decades on-the-job or at home or both. They shop online, pay bills, send emails, write blogs, listen to music, read the news, attend webinars, run businesses, use electronic devices to track their health and download the data to a website or smart-phone.

    Even someone like me Born Before the Boomers has been using a computer for nearly 25 years.

    1. Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.org
      Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.org at | | Reply

      Christina may have spoken a little too broadly, but in my experience the digital gap is still fairly significant between generations. My father has never touched a computer and never will. But I’ve experienced almost the exact didactic exchange Christina described with high level clients who have used computers for decades but cannot navigate Google Drive or Dropbox. I won’t name names, but a certain blogger whose name appears in the masthead couldn’t recover a lost password if his life depended on it. I think it’s important to acknowledge that there are many people (of all ages and abilities) who find new technologies intimidating or difficult to master.

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