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Why Technology Is For You - Let's Embrace IT

The best thing about technology or having access to the internet is the way it can bring family and friends into our living room. Technology enables you to see your grandchildren as they grow and they can also see and interact with you, even if they live in another state or country.

With technology we no longer have to guess or wonder about anything – a quick search and you will have the information you need. Of course there is way too much information out there, but with a few lessons you will be able to adapt your search to access the most reliable sources.

If you are a bit competitive and like to play games such as scrabble, bridge or chess, you have the ability to play against someone or a number of people without leaving your room. These people can be strangers or your friends, all playing against you from their living rooms.

Technology enables you to continue education by learning about things that interest you. There are many free courses on the internet or courses that are cheaper on-line than if completing them face to face. These days you can invite your friends to do the same course and interact with them while doing it. You can also connect with others from all over the world.

The benefits of using Technology for you are endless. For example technology can:

  • Enable you to play games that can sharpen your mind and reaction times
  • Provide exercise classes in the comfort of your home
  • Help you pay your bills and manage your accounts WITHOUT leaving the house
  • Shop for groceries and other items
  • Enjoy reading again because you can adapt the font size and background on your device to make it easier
  • You can download podcasts (interesting talk shows), audio books and music to listen to
  • Keep you in touch with your family and friends – you can see your grandchildren grow!
  • Keep you up to date with the latest information and news
  • Teach you something – such as how to garden or cook or maybe a new language, craft or hobby
  • Help you find a toilet close by if you are desperate
  • Provide tips on health and wellbeing – including counting your daily calorie intake or alerting you when you haven’t moved enough!
  • Help you find an unfamiliar address when driving
  • Keep you on track with diaries and reminders
  • Enable you to take, send and receive photos instantly
  • Help you contact a business or service provider without long waits on the phone
  • Alert someone if you have fallen
  • Enable you to watch whatever you want to on TV

The important thing is to not be scared of technology. After all you have been using technology to turn on your TV, close your garage door, speak on the phone and microwave your meals. The issue has more to do with the the scope of technology and how it is constantly and rapidly changing and advancing.

Therefore keeping on track with certain devices or applications can be tricky at first – just remember, we have all been there and done that. You wouldn’t be the first person to want to throw your device against a wall in frustration, but it does get easier.

When setting up something complicated for the first time, such as a smart TV, get someone that you trust and who is happy to give you a bit of a demonstration to help you set it up. Once it is set up, write down what buttons you need to press on your remote to guide you until you get used to it.

Don’t think you are ever too old to learn and most importantly – DON’T THINK YOU CAN BREAK IT (well, not unless you throw it out of that window!).

The internet even enables you to learn how to use your device, whether you choose a computer, a laptop, a notebook or a mobile phone (or all of them). You just have to Google YouTube Video – how to use my smart phone – and you’ll be able to find a tutorial to give you a demonstration.

If you are not sold on the idea yet, read the following statements from your fellow senior citizens.

MEET LEONIE

Excerpt provided by Health Talk Australia’s peoples profiles – Leonie

Leonie (who is 91) talks about the importance of being needed and wanted. Not having family has meant she has missed that sense of belonging and having the right to rely on someone. Leonie has found that making friends takes longer when you are older because there are fewer things you can do together. She has not kept up with technology because she would rather engage with people than machines. But also believes not using email or the internet adds to her sense of isolation. She feels it is harder to learn new technology as you get older, largely because she did not grow up with it, in addition to her unconscious resistance to it.

MEET RON

Excerpt from Healthtalk Australia – Peoples Profiles – Ron

Ron lives in an aged care facility and has monthly ‘get togethers’ with his youngest son and his family. Ron now spends his time on the computer, reading and playing bridge one or two days a week. He is intensely interested in technology although he would like more explanation about his new mobile phone.

Leonie sounds like she is regretting resisting technology and Ron sounds like he has filled a void and found something in common to interact with his grandchildren. Ron sounds like he would benefit from more education to learn how to find out more about his new mobile phone (which he can do on the internet).

You don’t have to embrace all technology, just the bits that interest you. If you are very new to it – take it one step at a time. Learn the basics and when you are comfortable, learn a bit more.  You may find the “Be Connected” website very useful to build your confidence and provide you with the tools to get started.

Keep reading below because we have provided with other useful websites and apps you may also find useful.

If you are already tech savvy or are a tech savvy carer, please contact us and let us know about any other useful applications, websites or YouTube tutorials so all those within our Village will benefit.   Email [email protected]

Technology Courses For Confidence

If you aren’t confident using a smart phone, a computer or a notebook device, there are plenty of opportunities to go and learn this new skill in the Newcastle Region. Not only will you learn more about the fabulous help these devises can be, but you will also nourish your brain by learning a new skill.

Once you are confident you may want to start using applications (apps) inbuilt on your device or add new ones. Take a look at some of the apps we have listed below – if one interests you, you can learn how to download it and use it during your computer course.

WHERE YOU MIGHT GO TO LEARN:

  • Contact your library – many local libraries have computer education classes. Click here to find a list of contact numbers of the local public libraries in the Newcastle region.
  • Join Computer Pals for Seniors: A not for profit club where volunteers provide computer classes, information meetings and social activities for over 55’s at minimal cost. You can even join digital photo, writers and memory groups. Hours: Tutoring Tues, Wed, Thurs 8.45am -3.30pm in school terms. Fees: See website: Courses Eligibility: From 55 years. Held at 15 Hubbard St, Islington, Ph: (02) 4961 6576 or email: [email protected]
    • Click here to find out what is on in Term one 2018:
    • Click here for a description of what each course provides.
  • WEA Hunter – Beginners computer classes – Provide a 6 week course that will teach you all the basics you need to know when using a computer. The aim of the course is to increase your confidence and show you that you can’t ‘break it”. Easy paced and relaxed class. Overcome your fears of computer technology and join in this easy paced and relaxed class.

Apps For Over 65's

An ‘App” is typically a small, specialised program which you can download onto your mobile devises such as your phone or tablet or Ipad.

An App can be very useful:
  • Such as providing a magnifier with flashlight so you can read small print
An App can be fun and entertaining
  • You can play games, crosswords and read current affair highlights
An App can promote health
  • Such as prompt you to move, record how many steps you have taken, or help if you have a disability or impairment
An App can help you stay in touch – no matter where you are
  • You can use skype from your phone – saves money and you can see your family

Below are examples of ‘Apps” you may like to download:

“USEFUL” APPS

  • Whistle Out provides a list of applications you can download (or get someone to do it for you) onto your smart phone or tablet. The magnifier with flashlight is a handy app to have.
  • Big Launcher Easy Phone
  • The BIG Launcher replaces the user interface of any phone or tablet with Android 2.1 or higher. It is designed in consideration with seniors and the visually impaired to provide maximum readability and easy use. This cost is $11.99 from google Store.
  • Big Launcher Easy Phone Demo
  • Voice Reading is helpful if you get tired reading long emails or web content (Compatibility: Android 2.2 and later. For all Android devices.)

‘KEEPING YOU SOCIAL’ APPS

  • Skype is one of the most popular communication tools in the history of computing. It enables you to make instant messaging, voice-over-internet calls and videoconferencing. Skype is inexpensive and easy to use. With Skype you can have face to face interaction with family and friends. Skype can be downloaded to your phone, your tablet or notebook, computer or laptop (or all of them). See the Tutorial on how to install Skype.
  • Facebook helps you keep in touch with family and friends, post something or get instant replies with instant messenger. Share photos, see what your friends and family are up to – post on your holiday (saves writing the same thing 20 times), swap recipes and get someone to help with the crossword. See a tutorial on how to set up a facebook account.

ASSISTING YOUR HEALTH APPS

  • Assistireland Is a fabulous website that provides information on all the inbuilt features of a smart phone or tablet for both Apple and Android devices that can assist someone with a disability or difficulty. This site also provides information on external applications you can download which can be useful, such as the Android Text Fair – which if you take a photo of a letter or document, it converts the text into a document you can listen to!
  • Web MD Enables you to keep up with your health by providing information on medical conditions and advice for healthy living. It can assist you during medical emergencies and the Symptom Checker allows enables you to seek a potential diagnosis and seek professional help.
  • Blood Pressure Companion – Only available for Apple devices. You can monitor your blood pressure closely and visual by words, chart and histogram. When you find it abnormal, you can take quick actions to find the reason and keep it from growing high. Also you can share measurements conveniently with your doctors by this app.
  • Blood Pressure MonitorOnly available on Apple devices. Turns your device into a personal blood pressure and weight health monitor. It comes with lifetime data visualization, statistics reporting, medication correlation, email import/export, built-in reminders and much more. This is an app with a lot of features.
  • Blood Pressure TrackerOnly for Android – Helps you to record your blood pressure, heart rate and weight at anytime and in anywhere. You can trace past records and shared with your doctor(s).
  • MedAdvisor: Enables you to manage your scripts, identify when it is time to see the GP for renewals and alerts you when it is time to take your meds (if you want it to). Click here for the Introduction Tour
  • Eye ReaderOnly for Apple devices. A practical tool for those who find reading their paperwork exhausting. Eye Reader simply acts as a magnifying glass – by holding your iPhone in front of a book or newspaper you’ll get a clear picture of the text with a light to help brighten it and ensure a pleasant read.

‘STIMULATING YOUR BRAIN FOR FUN’ APPS

  • BrainyApp: is a fun way to help you look after your brain health to reduce your risk of dementia. Assists looking after your heart, your diet, encourages physical activity and social engagement.
  • Games on the Lumosity App were designed by neuroscientists to enhance memory and cognitive speed – in sum, your brain agility. They are fun to play
  • Words with Friends: Compatible for both Apple and Android Devices. This game is like playing scrabble but easier to use. You can play on your own or invite your friends to play with you.
  • Tetris – There is research that indicates that playing this ‘oldie but a goody’ game can improve cognition in areas of faster processing skills and visual-spatial skills.
  • Worlds Biggest Crossword : There are over 10,000 unique clues to solve as well as dozens of quests to complete and trophies to collect!

Are you learning a computer course? Do you know of more courses available that others may like to try also?

Do you know of an ‘app” that other’s may enjoy also?

If so, please contact [email protected] and we will add it to the list.

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