Times are changing and today's seniors are changing with the times too. Staying attuned to and embracing the changes in social media, smart phones and communication technology is critical to staying engaged with society and family today. No matter how intimidating it may appear at first, seniors and retirees benefit from jumping in and being active.
Today, in fact, through Facebook, seniors are not only getting online to stay in touch and see what their younger family members are posting, but actively posting pictures, liking products and places, and sharing their world. This is a great change!
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly one third of all seniors now on Facebook and 53% use the internet and email as fixtures in their daily lives.
This is no surprise to residents of Dearborn's Henry Ford Village senior living community, where many of the nearly 1,000 residents enjoy Facebook and can be seen navigating smartphones, tablets, computers and various wireless devices.
One thing these folks will tell you, is that you have to be intentional. They put themselves in a situation where they have regular classes that provide an introduction and continuous education geared to them, about social media and technology.
For nearly a decade, Henry Ford Village’s resident Computer User's Group (C.U.G.) has been a great resource for residents. The group was formed by residents to stay current with technology meets monthly, and though active for ten years already, remains just as popular as when it was formed. Henry Ramus, the current leader of the group believes that as technology change, there is a never ending interest by his fellow residents to learn about the media and electronic devices that entwine their lives.
The group meets monthly and often uses local business and educational people to, as Ramus states, ensure we “enjoy what our children and grandchildren already know.”
Tom Lawrence of PC Pick Up and Lawrence Technology Services, www.lawrencesystems.com,of Taylor, the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award recipient from the Southern Wayne Regional Chamber of Commerce, recently met with the group. Lawrence provided information to the members on personal backups, using the IDRIVE and great, free tools. Stated Lawrence, “senior use of technology and social media is growing, and the group here has such an avid curiosity and willingness to learn and embrace the new opportunities.”
Ramus and the C.U.G. also recently hosted the “Smart Phone Teacher”, Elisha Shelley. Shelley, who has thirteen years experience in the wireless industry, was excited to see Henry Ford Village residents looking to get the most out of their devices.
“I'm helping individuals capitalize on what they already have,” said Shelley, who finds that while many own the technology, they are not taking full advantage of its capabilities.
In addition to basic functions and navigation, Shelley shared her knowledge of internet security and privacy, storage methods, helpful apps, device maintenance and responded to resident's questions. More about Shelley and her programs are available at the Smartphoneteacher.com
Ramus and Shelly agree that Henry Ford Village residents are not only improving their day-to-day lives through a better understanding of their wireless devices, but are getting more out of traveling and strengthening their connections with friends and family.
Henry Ford Village is a continuing care retirement community of approximately1,000 seniors, built on the historic birth-site of Henry Ford, providing an active independent living lifestyle, as well as assisted living, and skilled and rehabilitation care. For more information, call 1-800-783-0984, or visit their website at www.henryfordvillage.com.