In the past few months nearly 300 people have joined ChangingAging’s LinkedIn group, a network of professionals connecting, sharing stories and fostering conversations about their experiences changing the culture of aging.
The group includes a diverse mix of people, such as Holly Whiteside, a caregiving coach and Eden Associate who recently published the book “The Caregiver’s Compass;” Madeleine Kolb, a great pro-aging champion and blogger at http://agemyths.com; Patti Bertschler, a professional elder mediator and meditation advocate; Sheila Lehner, founder of Benevolent Ballet, a dance program for people of all ages and abilities; and Charles de Vilmorin, a social scientist from Georgetown University who recently launched a startup company “Linked Senior,” to better use technology to enhance the lives of elders.
Each week, we will highlight a popular discussion from the LinkedIn Group and introduce new members. This week’s conversation was started by Laura Bramly:
A question about email program and other computing devices for elders with vision problems and short-term memory loss.
My friend’s grandmother is in her 90s, has trouble seeing, and her short term memory is going. She is in that vicious cycle of not wanting to go out and just sits at home watching TV or playing solitaire on her computer all day, which is leading to boredom and depression, which just makes her want to watch TV all day. Her extended family is looking for ways for her to exercise her brain and socialize — she’s pretty much home bound and doesn’t like to go out.
She used to have a computing device that was dedicated to email and she loved it, but her family talked her into getting rid of it and getting a computer instead (Seeing as she loved the email so much, they figured she should just go whole hog). However, the computer is too confusing thus far, and she isn’t keeping in touch with her friends anymore via email, although she knows how to play solitaire on it!
I suggested to my friend that perhaps there is an email program out there that is simple, not web-based, and that could be activated at the click of one button. Does anyone know of such an email program? How about a web interface that simplifies accessing the Internet? She is not doing too badly with the mouse but it’s starting to become an issue due to arthritis. Are there any other devices that might be easier to use (I’m thinking that perhaps there is a joystick or something). She has a magnifier over her screen to make it easier to see, and the family is willing to hire someone to come in regularly to teach her how to use the computer. Ideas?
Click here to read over 11 responses to Laura’s discussion.
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