Vital Aging Network

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Technology

“If the technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete.”

—Anonymous

As an older adult, you might take exception to the idea that you are more likely to avoid new technology than someone younger. Many older adults are extremely competent with technology, using many different kinds of software on your computer, text messaging on your BlackBerry®, and participating in social networking on the internet.

If you are not using a particular technology, the barrier to learning most likely involves lack of access and lack of proper instruction, not lack of ability to learn. And with proper instruction, you can learn to use new technology just as accurately and effectively as anyone else.

Roger Morrell, Ph.D., who is assistant director of the University of Georgia’s Gerontology Center, and his colleagues have studied the use of technology by older persons. They found that many older adults who don’t use ATM machines would use them if they received instruction. Lack of instruction also keeps older persons from using online library catalogs. Morrell also found that older individuals’ failure to use computers was due to their lack of an opportunity to find out what they could do with them, not their lack of interest in learning.

 

This section includes the following pages:

  • New Ways for Staying Connected - Social networking websites, such as Facebook, allow users to create personal profiles, become friends with other users, and post updates, photos, videos, or news stories that their friends can see.
  • Cool Tools for Older Adults - We all use assistive technology. Without it, we would not be able to perform many daily tasks.
  • Call for Participants: Usability Testing November 16th - The Minnesota Board on Aging, along with the University of Minnesota, is seeking individuals to evaluate a website of community services that participants may use in the future.
  • Social Networking Offers Many Potential Benefits - Primarily used by people 25 and under the past, social networking sites are now attracting an older crowd. These sites, afford you another way to connect with others, and may offer potential health benefits.
  • Social Networking 101 - Social networking sites allow you to connect with others, find new and old friends, and share information on the internet. This article provides an overview on how to create an account.
  • Computer Resources & Classes - Whether you want to learn how to get on the Internet, how to use a specific kind of software, or how to be a software programmer, educational resources are available to older individuals.



Check our Additional Resources for more information

 

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