Technology and Website

Tag Archive: seniors

‘Out of this world’: New technology set to help local seniors

The lead agency is Waypoint Center for Mental Health Care which works collaboratively with partners to support frail older adults and their caregivers

“I’m out of this world, that’s for sure,” said Gloria Howe, describing her virtual reality experience at Barrie’s IOOF Seniors Homes on Tuesday afternoon.

North Simcoe Muskoka (NSM) Specialized Geriatric Services program, in collaboration with the IOOF, held an interactive presentation showing the impact of technology on the care provided to older adults in the region.

NSM hopes to help revolutionize the way older adults connect with their loved ones, ensure their safety and introduce them to immersive nostalgic experiences.

Betty Munro, 93, also an IOOF resident, like Howe, experienced virtual reality on the International Space Station with the Meta Quest 2 headset.

“I thought it was absolutely fantastic, it’s amazing,” she said. “I saw the Earth from above.

“To see something like that at my age is phenomenal,” Munro added. “I saw the space station and the clouds. Just moving slow. It was very relaxing.”

Recreation therapists, as well as residents themselves, tried some of the available technology at the Brooke Street facility to better understand how it can be integrated into their everyday lives.

As part of this initiative, older adults live in long-term care homes and in the community are being provided with devices.

They include Google Nest Hub, Google Nest Mini, Alexa Show, Apple AirTag, and Meta Quest virtual reality headsets. They could open up a world of possibilities for older adults by enabling video chats with family and friends, providing access to information through voice commands and facilitating entertainment through immersive experiences.

Jenna Davis, a recreational therapist with NSM, works with frail older adults in the community, in long-term care and retirement homes.

Also one client in her 70s who lives in a remote area where she really enjoys going out for walks.

“Now that she’s having increased cognitive impairment, her daughter is more and more concerned about her going out on her own for those walks,” Davis said. “So in order to maintain her autonomy and her independence and continue to go for those walks, because we know walking and physical activity is really good for overall well-being and physical health, but also mental health, we are giving her an Apple AirTag to put on her person.

“We’re going to make sure when she goes out for those walks, that she

Read more

EVERYTHING KING: Technology leaving some seniors behind

In this week’s column, Wendy has suggestions for retailers and their older customers, because we should always respect our elders

Respect your elders! Haven’t we all been raised with that adage?

Well, we should have been.

In today’s society, it seems to me that many senior citizens are getting left behind as technology races forward and gets more complicated.

I’m not talking about all the older people, because many are totally computer-savvy and managing just fine.

Still, I am going to be a hazard I guess there are many others who struggle with the fast-paced changes that occur day after day.

As with most things, we handle things pretty well until one change hits us the wrong way and we get agitated and need to vent. Straw meets camel.

I call that Tuesdays!

I am angry that Shoppers Drug Mart has changed its senior discount policy so that you must be 65 years old to get it. Previously, they allowed it for those 55 and up if you had the Optimum card.

It’s unclear when the policy changed or was modified, but customers are just now realizing it. They get to the checkout and realize they are no longer allowed the seniors discount.

The company’s corporate statement says: “A senior discount in our stores is offered at 65 in our stores although some of our locations may be 55 at the discretion of the store owner.”

So, company policy isn’t really company policy then? It’s a store-to-store policy? That seems confusing.

Shoppers Drug Mart is a leading retail pharmacy chain in Canada, owned by Loblaws, with 1,300 stores, so clearly doesn’t need me to give it consumer advice. But, I will anyway. And this is for all retailers!

Don’t tick off senior citizens. They will take you down.

Don’t disrespect your elders who helped you build your company to where it is today.

Do not suggest your customers misunderstand your corporate policy. They know what the sales are, what days are the busiest, your hours and, believe me, they know what their discounts have always been. Don’t treat them like they are stupid.

They have already accepted bagging their own purchases and self-checkouts or agreed to wait in endless lines for the one cashier who is actually working at the till.

Do not — I repeat, not — disrespect them.

More free advice for other retailers…

Start really advertising your

Read more