How technology can really be a nightmare for older people

Getting to gets with technology can be daunting for older people
Getting to gets with technology can be daunting for older people

What are the most difficult things facing older people these days apart from ageing which is something none of us can stop?

Is it driving on busy roads festooned with signs and cameras erected by Roads Division?

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

Is it trying to make do on a smaller income now that you’ve stopped working?

Is it picking out a size 12 dress and trying it on your size 14 plus body?

Is it all those stories that the elderly are drinking too much, costing the NHS more than expected, living in homes too big for their needs?

Is it banks trying to sell us expensive products we don’t need, people complaining that the elderly don’t deserve free public transport, TV licences or above inflation rises in the state pension?

Is it a certain amount of loneliness now that your offspring have departed the nest?

I could go on but I won’t. Personally I find the greatest problem in my life is keeping up with technology. While I was working there were always young chaps in tee-shirts we could call up to correct our computer mistakes.

Nowadays we have to try and work it out for ourselves or call in some local whizz kid who hasn’t even started to shave and who has you fixed up in a jiffy, much to your embarrassment.

Technology is about the only thing Himself and I have tiffs about. He knows a lot more about it than I do and has the patience to work at something until he gets it right.

I, on the other hand, feel like smashing the screen and giving up altogether. Why is so much of it so complicated? There’s nothing straightforward about it. Take trying to pay the bills to run your system for example.

You simply cannot send them a cheque in the post. I suspect those at the other end won’t even have seen a cheque accustomed as they are to pressing a few buttons to download someone’s account.

This past month I’ve been getting renewal e-mails for my computer security protection. After giving up trying to do it online – up to now it has been set up for me by someone else – and because my requirements had changed I decided to do it myself.

It has taken me a week to get it finalised and not before, eventually, ringing the company to try to get someone to talk to me. The security company’s headquarters appear to be in America but the person I talked to was in the Philipines!

I only knew that because I asked her since, clearly, her accent wasn’t American. She turned out to be terribly efficient and within half an hour it was all done and dusted with an e-mail into my system to advise me to that effect.

I asked her why the company had made it appear so difficult to do the same thing online and what was the telephone call to her costing me. The answer to the latter was merely at my local rate and to the former she seemed perplexed I found it 
difficult. She was obviously young.

Trouble is the young are keeping up with the technology on a daily basis, whether at school or merely mixing with their friends who are all computer literate. I only got my first App for my mobile a few weeks ago and still haven’t much of a clue about how it works. There is no one to teach me and at my age I simply can’t be bothered to go to night school to learn how to keep up.

I can do online banking but when I kept getting repeat e-mails from them recently to tell me they were modifying the system I remained in panic mode for a month afraid to open up my account.

Looking back on life I don’t ever recall being flummoxed by anything new. Yet it seems technology is designed for the young with their fresh brains and devil-may-care attitude to things. However, I’m determined not to be left behind.