Seniors and Computers

Seniors and computers DO mix.. as evidenced by Irene, age 72, below. I knew this... I get lots of senior input on this website but I wanted to share Irene's thoughts. In fact, as you'll see, she told her doctor she doesn't "have time for depression"... that's fantastic! You Go Girl!

By Irene (Rene) Dixie Williams,
Sardis, B.C. Canada

I find it incredible at how much I've changed in my attitude to modern technology - mainly seniors and computers.

Two years ago I wanted nothing to do with them, they were trouble. All I knew was an apple was something you ate and a mouse was something you chased with a broom. Then the thought of what it could do... fascinated me and I began on the road to conversion.

I started out teaching myself on the computer at the library. The librarians were very helpful getting me started .. even though they weren't supposed to. However, it is amazing what having white hair can do.

I practiced for l year and then decided I wanted my OWN computer at home for easier access.

From here, I've gone on to taking a "trouble shooting" course and a "computer level 2" course at Elder College. These are special classes for seniors and is conducted through the Fraser Valley University... we just received our accreditation.

The more I learn, the more I find out I don't know. However with each new discovery comes an excitement and thrill like no other. That even at my age ..72.. I am still capable of learning and being part of this new technology. The thrill of newly learnt tasks gives you such a high and certainly keeps the blues away.

I've now just purchased my first digital camera, now I have lots more to learn...taking photos and putting them in my computer!Oh boy. I look forward to taking another course this fall on "Digital Photography". To keep learning is the best medicine for any senior. Keeping the grey cells working can often clear up or prevent other problems from happening.

At a check up with my Dr., he asked me: "do you get depressed or bored, tell me what you do with your time." I said, are you kidding?? I don't have time for depression. I'm learning the computer and taking courses; I have this excellent paper "Inky Trail News" I write to and find pen pals to write to; I play my digital piano, do photography and read. In between I do shopping, pay bills take my friend and myself to all our appointments.

Good heavens, he said, I'm tired just listening to you. I wish more seniors would get half as active.

So now when I hear someone say "oh, I could never learn that", or too many problems with computers, I give them a pep talk. If I can do it......and I'm not the brightest star in the sky.....then so can you. You have to motivate yourself and a whole new world will open up. We seniors need to be a part of this modern technology and all it's benefits.

My friends all laugh and smile at me as I expand on some new problem I solved myself. Oh, and who was it awhile back that said they wanted nothing to do with a computer?? I don't know, couldn't be me, I say with a grin.

One problem I've noticed with seniors is that people tend to talk down or try to intimidate you. DON'T let it happen, if the go on too fast, just say: "see this grey hair?

I'm a senior, i'm not stupid and I just need you to speak more slowly and explain things. One woman told me her daughter told her that she was crazy to spend money on a computer and lessons at her age..76..She wouldn't learn anyway = wrong = one can always learn. In our class we had several people in their 70', 80', and l who was 90.

So go to it you seniors - get on the Happy Wagon of Life.

I remember old sayings from my mother: "Idle hands are the devils tool" and "Wasted time is a waste of the mind."

So GO FORTH AND LEARN and you'll never look back.