Exploring Ways to Make Us All More Connective, at Any Age

By The Palisades at Broadmoor Park

We’ve all heard it from our kids, our grandkids, and others, “You really should get a cell phone.” Or “Do you have an email address?” Probably so much that you’ve broken down and purchased a new computer or a cell phone. But do you really use them to their full potential? We all know the adage “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” But that is simply not true. You can learn new tricks, and you can use them to your advantage to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s easier than you think.

Let’s take this step by step.

Cell phones are easier to use than ever before. The newest generation of cell phones, is the Smart Phone. They really are that smart and can make life easier for you, whether you live at home or in a retirement community. Some people think that cell phones are difficult to hear and talk on. That can be true. Have you ever considered a texting plan for your cell phone? Texting is a form of communication through the cell phone itself that allows you to send a text only message to any other cell phone user. It displays a simple text message to the recipient, from you. So, it can be as simple as sending a typed message to your spouse or friend while they’re at the grocery store (Please pick up some ice cream) without having to take a phone call into a crowded, public place or a private, quiet place that frowns upon the use of cell phone calls. These messages can be as simple or detailed, depending on what you need to communicate. The idea behind this technology is to enhance your lifestyle and make it easier.

These days, computers seem to be in every household. They are as common, as a home telephone. Again, these crazy contraptions are meant to enhance our lives and make them better—not intimidate us. The evolution of the personal computer has changed the way the world communicates. There are even computers with specific software that can speak to you. This is a wonderful solution for people suffering from macular degeneration or other vision problems. If you received an email from someone, the computer could read the message aloud.

If you do not have a computer of your own, there are a few ways to go about getting one. Stores offer many types and can help with anything from picking out exactly what you need, to delivery and setup. Some stores even offer personal shopping and one-to-one training so that you can learn all your options for getting the most out of your purchase. For example, the Apple Computer store, located in The Promenade Shops at Briargate, has a program that assists you. For a nominal fee, you can go to the store and learn from one of their trainers and it’s a lot of fun. Best Buy has sales associates that will walk you through every aspect of the buying process and even get you scheduled for an in-home visit from one of their resident geeks. Many retirement communities, like The Palisades at Broadmoor Park, offer cutting-edge technology to better the lives of its residents. They offer a community computer for residents to use, along with free wireless internet connections for each apartment, which can make the decision to own a personal computer a lot easier and stress-free.

You may think, “No big deal, I’ve got a computer already.” That’s great. Do you communicate with your children, grandchildren and others with it? Do you chat with them and send photos back and forth? This is where personal computing can get really fun. You may have heard about social networking and Facebook or Skype. If not Facebook is an internet-based site that helps you stay in touch with just about everyone. If your own children or grandchildren are on Facebook, you can join (for free) and communicate with them as often as you like and on a flexible time schedule. Keeping tabs on the day-to-day activities of your family and friends has never been so convenient. Skype is a downloadable program for your computer that allows you to talk over the internet (much like a phone call) for free. And if your computer has a camera, you can video chat with someone else on Skype.

Twenty-first century technology can actually be fun and enjoyable to use. There are many options out there to enable you to be more connected to your family, your community and your world. We guarantee it will be worth your time—and in the end, you’ll be more fulfilled for it.