Tech-savvy for Seniors Week

Tech-savvy for Seniors Week.

Photo: Tech-savvy for Seniors Week. (Source: Zion Lutheran Home)

Queensland’s Nundah retirees are embracing new technologies such as iPads, digital storytelling and interactive games to keep their minds active and move with the times.

The theme for Seniors Week 2012, to be celebrated from tomorrow to next Sunday (26 August), is Recipes for Living and Loving Life. For Zion Lutheran Home residents’ technology is a vital ingredient.

Ann Thew, Jean Gatward and Darryl Gatley have participated in tutorials offered by the aged care service to improve their technology skills.

Pictured left to right are Zion Lutheran Home residents Jean Gatward, Ann Thew and Darryl Gatley.

Ms Thew, 67, is an advanced internet user. The former manager said she liked using iPads and was keen to interact with more new technologies.

“An iPad is small, easy-to-use and the readability is fine,” she said.

“New technology stimulates the mind which helps delay dementia.  [It also helps us] to understand the younger generation and what they are up to.

“I would like to learn about the touch screen technology on the phones, take photographs and I will try that Dragon Dictation voice recognition.”

Ms Gatward, 83, said there were many benefits for older Australians to become techno-savvy.

“Modern technology can help people communicate with families and friends who are not in their immediate environment and are overseas,” she said.

“My grandson has an iPad and it is something we can bond over.

“I’d like to learn the Angry Birds game – a new skill would be exciting to have under my belt.”

Mr Gatley agreed life would be dull without exploring technology.

The former Rugby League player, who was a Queensland trainer for the first State of Origin series, recently recounted his amazing football career online via the digital storytelling platform Placestories.

Placestories is a web-based forum used by about 20 Zion residents to bring their memories to life and capture their life achievements through text, video, audio and photographs.

“We need to keep up with [technology] to communicate with our grandchildren,” he said.

“iPads provide convenience and are easy to use; there’s no mouse and you can take it anywhere with you.”

He added, despite entering his senior years he still looked forward to embarking on many new adventures.

“[Older people] are a very important part of the community,” he said.

“We have a lot of knowledge to share but there’s still a lot to learn to keep our minds active.

“If we take our time there is no reason we can’t use new technology; most people could handle it.”

Zion employees are supportive of the residents’ thirst for new technologies. Lifestyle coordinator, Neal Price, will be offering residents monthly technology tutorials and two care staff have done an e-learning course on how to teach residents to read books online.

Zion Lutheran Home general manager, Maria Mulheran, said she was delighted residents were engaging with the process of learning new communication tools.

“Older Australians have played a significant part in helping shape our community and will continue to do so through incorporating modern technology into their daily lives,” she said.

“Now that’s something to celebrate this Seniors Week; the division between younger and older generations is breaking down due to our residents shifting with the times and becoming attuned with what their grandchildren are doing to remain close to them.”  

Lutheran Community Care (QLD)