Chorus Voices Ep 3: Technology that Connects and Empowers
Episode 3 of the Chorus Voices Podcast covers an exciting topic: Technology!
With the power to open new worlds, technology offers incredible opportunities for previously challenged and isolated community members. But the constant rate of change can be intimidating to people and businesses alike.
Join hosts Louise Forster and Dan Minchin as they explore how technology can enable everyone Chorus works with to live the life they choose.
Seniors and Technology: Fact versus Fiction – [0:55]
There’s a commonly held view that older people are resistant to, and even afraid of technology.
Is there truth to this idea, or is it founded on assumption and stereotype?
Louise’s observation is that there are indeed barriers to technology adoption among seniors. Age, finances, and disability can sometimes play a part. But when those initial barriers are overcome, there’s pretty much no stopping anyone from using technology to leverage the internet and connect with people.
These barriers may be what’s creating the stereotypical notion that older people are ‘frightened’ by technology. Once the barriers are broken down, the stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.
How can Seniors Break Down the Technology Barrier? – [2:50]
The path to connectivity for seniors – or anyone unfamiliar with new tech – can be broken down into three main steps:
Step 1: The Physical Device
There’s always a physical step to accessing technology. There’s got to be a phone, a computer, an iPad or another device. In order to use technology, someone must of course use one of these physical devices.
Step 2: Connectivity
The physical device must be connected to the internet. This may seem a matter of course to those who are used to living with technology, but it’s an important step to acknowledge for anyone entering the digital world with limited familiarity or experience.
Step 3: Support
Finally, there may be a need to get some help with the whole process.
Stepping into any phone shop – let alone a sleek Apple store – is overwhelming even for the tech savvy. For beginners, it can be difficult and confusing to navigate without help.
Put these three steps together, and most of the barriers separating seniors from new technology can be broken down.
The iPad Group for Seniors – [5:45]
Founded by Sheena Edwards, the iPad Group for Seniors is a Chorus supported program teaching seniors how to use iPads.
Have a look below at what seniors are saying about the group – it’s quite inspiring!
The iPad Group for Seniors meets on Fridays at the Rockingham Church of Christ Hall from 10am-12pm. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What About the Visually or Dexterity Impaired? – [10:00]
iPads, smartphones and computers can be difficult or impossible to use for those who struggle with vision, dexterity, or other physical issues.
But there’s good news on this front – assisting technology has been advancing in leaps and bounds. Among the assisted technology offerings are voice recognition and transcription programs, software that can make isolated individuals feel safer at home, and systems that support carers in doing their jobs.
Health Hackathon Perth 2017 – [16:00]
Louise attended a Health Hackathon in 2017 that explored communication technology for use in a residential aged care setting.
If applications like Skype, Facetime or internet groups were made available to seniors in residential care, it could open up whole worlds of connection and community for them. At the hackathon, Louise and the other attendees workshopped ways to make this a possibility.
Time and resource pressures would no doubt come into play – it would take some resource and assistance to set up and run connective technology for seniors in this situation – but it certainly could be possible.
As Dan and Louise have seen with The iPad Group for Seniors, there are teachers and community members who are willing and able to give their time in support of giving seniors better education and access to technology.
With connective technology, that person who might otherwise be isolated, can now stay connected to friends, family and community.
How Chorus Connects with Technology – [20:00]
The Chorus purpose statement includes the following phrase: ‘Enabling people to live the life they choose.’
Technology gives Chorus new and exciting ways to put this purpose into practice. Chorus does and will continue to invest in programs like the iPad learning class and other ways to help its customers through technology.
Chorus is also keen to enable anyone to engage its services in whatever way works best for them. If that way is a home visit, Chorus makes itself available. And if technology helps achieve an easier connection, Chorus will pursue it – whether it means a skype call, an Uber ride for customers, or an application that they haven’t heard of yet.
Whatever might be stopping people from living the life they choose – Chorus will be on the front lines, breaking down that barrier.
Mentioned in This Episode
Podcast Hosts: Dan Minchin and Louise Forster
Opening Voiceover: Ryan Burke
Opening Music: “Wattebird” by Dylan Hatton Music
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