Grandma found my blog!

Posted on November 8th, 2012

Technology and the Elderly

Bless my Mum, she is in her mid 70’s and about to have her first birthday without my dear Dad who passed away back in the Grandma helping me at Coombemill last monthsummer. Grandma lives a good 4 hours drive away so we can’t always be with her and rely on various forms of communication, most typically letter and telephone, and I mean land line, as this is what her generation grew up with. Trying to explain to my children that a text, an email or a facebook message just isn’t going to cut it on Grandma’s birthday is hard to understand when this is the technology they have grown up with. Even I think it is perfectly acceptable to use some form of on line thanks or a text after a dinner party, kids play date or such like, though would still go for a real birthday card for close friends and family.

Grandma has bought a lap top and is really struggling but persisting in learning the basics of email and the internet. I forget how far I have come in recent years till I see my Mum trying to bang the keys like an old typewriter and grappling with the fine motor skills needed on a mouse. However managing without these days is becoming harder. We no longer have printed material for our farm holidays and we are not alone, finding information quickly and easily without the internet is a proper bind. We have just updated Grandma’s house phones which were so old they didn’t allow you to “press one” when prompted, no wonder she was having trouble! Who knows when printed phone directories will go but surely it is inevitable and what then for the elderly with no computer knowledge?

Managing in the modern world on old technology is becoming a real issue and I am keen to encourage Grandma with her “new toy” as she calls it. I now receive a weekly email (though it is sometimes blank having pressed send instead of backspace!)  and she has discovered how to tap into my blog posts and read our news here, armed with a cup of coffee and her ‘morning head’ for the task! 

Happy Birthday Grandma

To encourage my Mum in her pursuit of modern living we are sending birthday wishes here and giving the behind the scenes look at the Grandchildren making her more traditional card, which hopefully will have arrived safely by snail mail.

First we collected flowers from the gardens and meadows around the farm:

Collecting farm flowers

Then we brought the flowers and leaves inside and arranged them onto a piece of black card to make a picture. This was sellotaped into place and our eldest took charge of writing in gold pen on the front. Everyone then added their personal message inside, the eldest helping the younger ones with their spellings.

Card making for Grandma's Birthday

Finally they came up with a few unprompted birthday wishes, this is far from a polished performance, but I rather like it warts and all! Grandma, you need to left click the mouse over the arrow to play the video! 

Will we be left behind too?

Perhaps I will become the next generation left behind? Will my kids laugh at me when I ask them to email me and look at me with horror when I talk of videos and blogs? It is a sobering thought and one which I realize I will need to work at avoiding, though I am not yet sure how. I am sure when my parents proudly turned on the first colour TV in the street, they never imagined technology would pass them by! I would love to hear your stories of how your parents do or don’t cope and what you will do to prevent being in a technical time trap as the world begins to race by at a faster pace than you.