During the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of telehealth quickly spread and has become a standard…
Seniors are staying connected online during the pandemic and turning to technology to keep up with friends, family and current events. In many states, lawyers can now use this new online connectivity to create estate plans remotely from start to finish. Likewise, many doctors are now practicing tele-medicine over the internet. Groceries, pharmaceuticals, clothing, all these and more can be ordered through the internet, without setting foot out the door.
But these opportunities are only meaningful if everybody has a strong internet connection – and knows how to use it!
Elderly Online Presence
For our elders, this may not be so simple. Inability to connect remotely with family and friends causes so many to feel even more isolated and lonely, due to the extreme quarantine measures especially in nursing homes. Unless a person has at least some internet service available, and the skills to know how to use it, this epidemic imposes barriers to quality of life, banking, health care, social networks, government services, and education. And the effects of this virus are likely to be felt into the future as the “new normal,” especially for the most vulnerable among us.
It’s for those reasons that internet is increasingly recognized as vital infrastructure.
For those who remember the days before the internet, though, there can be numerous obstacles to becoming internet-enabled and savvy. Nevertheless, solutions are available. The key is to get creative.
Senior Connection Opportunities
Young family members might like nothing better than to be asked to help an elder learn internet ways and means. Or, here is a collection of some online tutorial sources:
Here is a downloadable educational booklet from the British Broadcasting Company. It has important information on computer security.
Or, the organization Senior Planet is there to “harness technology to change the way we age.” Their programs “help seniors learn new skills, save money, get in shape, and make new friends.” Most courses are free and help seniors learn a wide variety of computer basics, digital photography, social media, online job searches, even how to make a website.