The other night I was sitting with my family when our discussion quickly turned to talk about today’s youth and technology. As we humorously debated whether the slightest improvements in today’s gizmos would help or harm our generation as well as those to come, my 74-year-old grandmother piped up and said, “You know, I am quite impressed with how I can maneuver the web.”
Last February, on Valentine’s Day, my grandfather had left a “bread crumb trail” via the Internet for my grandmother. Her job was to follow clues online that he had left for her and find the correct destination where she was to meet him at a specific time for dinner. Overwhelmed at first, my grandmother took to the challenge and went through each clue.
She said that although it appeared confusing and took some time, she was surprised at how well she could peruse the sites. The list of “clues” was also a fun “How To” guide to using the sites. As intimidating as the web can be, my grandmother felt like she had mastered the impossible, especially because she had made it to the correct restaurant. And on time!
PointerWare’s software itself is also a “How To” guide, breaking down confusing components to help ease the anxiety that many seniors may feel when thinking about, or attempting to use, a computer, let alone the Internet. With its simple display and large icons, PointerWare makes the web (not to mention email and games) more accessible.
An article published by Statistics Canada in 2009 indicated that “over one half of seniors who were home Internet users said they did general Internet browsing for fun or leisure.” In 2010, another study for individual Internet use was completed and the results showed that on average, in Ontario, 81 per cent of individuals accessed the Internet from any location. Of those users, “about one-half (51%) of those aged 65 to 74 used the Internet, compared with 27% of those aged 75 years and older.”
Seniors use of the Internet is on the rise and with easy-to-use software programs such as PointerWare, the numbers are sure to increase.
- Posted by Megan