I got in late tonight, after spending the evening with my mother and sister, Linda. The three of us had dinner together, however the purpose of the evening wasn’t just family interaction. My mom, who, without mentioning a specific age, is the mother of a 60 year old, decided she wanted to buy an iPad. Linda and I had a blast accompanying Mom on her quest.
My sisters and I have been talking to Mom about getting a smart phone. But no…she is content with her flip phone. It makes perfectly acceptable phone calls. It’s awkward for texting though, and she realized she is missing out on some fun apps. She has a computer, and she does very well with it. But she’s confined to her office while using Facebook, checking email or searching the web.
Having an iPad gives her the freedom to browse or post on Facebook or find recipes on Pinterest from the comfort of her living room or back patio. Plus, she has expressed interest in other social media sites such as Instagram, which work better on a mobile device.
We found a great deal on an iPad at Target, thanks to a helpful young man named Daniel. And just like that, my adventurous Mom became the owner of a new tech device.
Linda and I both own iPhones so we are very familiar with the iPad format. We coached Mom along and let her learn by doing as she set up her Apple account and downloaded her first app…Facebook. She got the hang of the touchscreen and the keyboard quickly.
I’m very proud of my mom. She is a strong and independent woman who raised strong and independent daughters. She’s been her own boss through out much of her adult life, owning and operating diverse businesses from restaurants to video rental stores. She’s a published author, an artist and an avid traveler, unafraid of new experiences. In fact, she thrives on doing new things.
According to a recent study, scientists discovered that learning new technology can be beneficial to older adults. The American Association of Retired Persons has reported that seniors who keep up to date with the internet can create a positive impact on key areas of life, including:
• personal fulfillment
• health preservation
• social connectedness
• functional capability
• caregiver support
Researchers have explored how playing a video or online game does more than entertain. They found that teaching older adults how to play online activities can boost the brain, increase cognitive longevity, improve memory and expand attention.
I’m looking forward to seeing what games and apps Mom downloads on her iPad and what creative endeavors she undertakes thanks to this new device. And while she is playing and reading about the world and connecting with family and discovering photo editing, she is staying sharp and creating new pathways in that brilliant brain of hers. I love her desire to learn. And always, if she has a question, she can call or shoot one of us a text!
My stepdad, who is 11 years older than my mom, doesn’t want to be left out. We are taking him shopping for an iPad Saturday.