technological dependency among elders

As we are discussing how elderly look upon technology, we are forgetting one simple fact: that the elderly are already using lots of technology.  And on top of that, they are much more dependent on the technology they are using. Going even further their life often depends on these technologies. Take for example a peace-maker which is of vital importance and whitch you are more likely to find with an older person. Another device that will not go as far as ending the life of the owner when malfunctioning, but nevertheless rendering him incapacitated is a hearing aid or glasses to give two examples . But even drugs can be seen as technology, and few people who have reached a certain age aren’t depended on one or more pill’s or shot’s of insulin each day. As you can see, where technology is mostly a bonus for younger people it is often a necessity for the older of age. And thus we should be weary not to make our senior citizens too ‘addicted to technology’. Take for instance the case of a relative of mine. She lived in with an older lady, who, after some time, wasn’t able to go up and down the stairs herself. A stairs lift was promptly installed (the type of chair that automatically goes up a stairs on rails). But it was not dismissed after the elder lady died many years later. Instead, the relative used it to go up and down the stairs although being perfectly capable of doing so herself. And by always taking the elevator she got so unused at taking those stairs that after a while she hust wouldn’t dare take it.

A less serious example is this article where a the habitants of a home in England got sort of addicted to the WII console.

To conlude this post: saying that the elderly are eager to use technology that will facilitate their lives may be an understatement as this technology is often life-depending for them.

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2 Responses to technological dependency among elders

  1. ingmarvaneylen says:

    This is quite a good remark made here. We as young people nearly force technology on the elderly “for their own comfort”. We want to make their lives better and easier, but as we indeed throw easy to use technology to the elderly, they get lasy. Honestly, if you had a robot at home to feed you every day or clean your house, would you want to do it yourself once? I’m sure this is a 100% guarenteed “no” of everyone I would ask. If you are habituated that those things are done for you, you don’t want to do it yourself anymore. This is in our nature, people are lasy, that’s the whole point of inventing all those technologies, we don’t want to work but we want that the work is done for us. So there can be technology in the daily lifes of the elderly, but he has to be relevant!

    • Well, saying that people are inherently lazy is of course a bit over the top, but it is true that people tend to be carefull on their resources. But of course this has been part of the evolution: the less energy you use, the longer you can survive without eating, and the more energy you will have when a wild animal comes along and you have to run. And so, as the elderly usually have less energy to spare, they are even more carefull on the outgoing energy. So probably they will tend to be even quicker on being ‘lazy’.

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