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Putting a face on technology for older seniors

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There’s absolutely nothing a grandparent or great-grandparent delights in more than seeing the precious face(es) of their great- and grandchild(ren). Where a picture is worth a thousand words, a “bird [replace with “picture”] in the hand” is worth more than piles of gold.

“The number of Americans age 65 or older increased tenfold in the last century and the elderly are living longer, in more comfort and in better health than ever before”, researchers report. Yayyy! We rule.

The growing population of seniors are active online users, as documented by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that shows Internet use between 2000 to 2012 tripled for those 65 and older and doubled among those 50-64 years-old.

But what so many of us often forget is that some grandparents (and especially great-grandparents) may not be tech-savvy or have access to smart phones, the Internet, Instragram, FaceBook, Pinterest and all the other online venues on which precious photos of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are shared and that they’d love to see but have no access.

Research released in October, 2013 conducted by Oxford Economics for the AARP said that Americans over 50 spend $4.6 trillion annually, with the ripple effect of that spending hitting $7.1 trillion per year. These are very big numbers. If you have an elderly relative, sooner or later you’ll find out how important technology can be in keeping that person involved and connected with the outside world — perhaps even enabling her to “age in place” as opposed to moving into an assisted-care facility or senior home.”

So what’s my point? Texts. Posts. Pictures, oh my.

Boomers are doing great with keeping in touch online and providers would do well to pay attention, because that’s where the big bucks are. More and more, we’re online and we get it. Our aging parents, our elders, however, are left out in the cold, cruel world, often without a word or photo, lost in the great sea of the www.

The point is that when photos of kids and grandkids and great-grandkids are posted ANYWHERE, take an extra second, PRINT it, and MAIL it (snail mail) to your older loved one. That’s the only way they’ll GET IT – and enjoy it beyond measure.

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