When I was a little girl, I played with a great toy called a View Master. Do you remember it? There were different pictures on a paper wheel that you would put into a little magnifier/camera device. As you clicked through, you would see a story unfold, or have a new window into the magnificent world around you. We don’t see View Masters around much anymore because millions of visual images that connect us to the world are at our fingertips through our computers, tablets and Smartphones. These newer devices are our opportunity to see and connect with the world around us.
The technology universe is vast, and many of us who did not grow up in front of a computer screen struggle to keep up with the new technologies that emerge daily. The younger generation is pushing the older generation to learn. But why bother?
At Hebrew SeniorLife, residents benefit from living in a community with others who are at a similar place in their lives. These senior communities nurture the emotional well-being of residents, but can leave some feeling disconnected from the buzz of life outside of our communities. iPads and other tablet devices provide an extraordinary opportunity for seniors to connect: Video conferencing with Skype, online games like Words with Friends, news sites, travel applications, online museums, online academic courses, YouTube videos, music of today and yesterday, all available at the touch of a button.
One of our goals at Hebrew SeniorLife is to make it easier for our residents to benefit from new technologies. We are exploring technological devices for our residents to use, and learning how to utilize the great skill set of our youth to teach older adults how to use technology effectively. With open minds and young, fresh faces to guide us, we will all reap the benefits!