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Shantel 13th Mar 2021 Activity Coordinator
Helping residents adapt to technological advance.

I'm looking for advice on helping out seniors utilize unnecessarily complicated technology. Our cable provider recently upgraded to a wireless 4K system. Several of our residents have been forced to change their systems and are no longer able to navigate their TVs by themselves.
This is beyond cheat sheets and labelling remotes- it becomes an issue of accessing apps like Netflix, youtube, and a very different format of cable channels.
Instead of turning the power on and flipping to a channel they enjoy, they must navigate a series of screens to the app that provides them with whatever type of show most of them are interested in.
It makes me so mad that these residents are paying more than the others with standard cable for a service they can barely use. Additionally, they are required to register for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Internet if they want to access more than the very limited number of included channels.

Maybe this is a rant. Maybe a call for help. Ideas, suggestions, support....whatever you've got I will gladly take it.
Susan 13th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Hi Shantel
Oh I agree this seems unfair
Might help to get in touch with some high school students because they are pretty technologically advanced
Not only do they have to be technologically advanced but they have to be patient because most of the elderly have Difficulty and do not remember what to do
Another idea is to complain to the cable or Internet company
Explain to them that you are giving them a lot of business and their new way of doing things doesn’t work for the residents ask for an alternative
The residents may have to downgrade their service so they can use it or you may have to use a different Internet or cable company
Or you can tell them that this is a possibility
I am sure they do not want to lose your business but you may get aggravated trying to do this
I know many residents like to watch TV
Having so much trouble with the TV might get them more interested in other activities
You can show favorite programs in the common areas
Good luck to you
If you have any specific questions perhaps I could help but no promises
Solange 14th Mar 2021 Diversional Therapist
Hi Shantel, I can fully understand your frustration. Adapting to change is a struggle for most elderly people, yet the technology people come, change everything, and leaves you with the aftermath to sort out! I agree with Susan that recruiting High School students as volunteers would help to dissipate some of the computer anxiety. That would be a great Intergenerational activity; once a week for one hour 3 or 4 students would sit with one resident at a time for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, with another, and so on. Make the students welcome and offer them beverages and cookies at the end of the session.
Susan 16th Mar 2021
I love the Students idea, a lot of programs high school or Vocational schools require community service hours to complete their course, I had to do it in Nursing School. If you have nursing student already doing clinical at your facility if could be something you could mention to them and organize it for them.

Also a lot of Smart TV's are compatible with Alexa. There is still a learning curve, anyone who has worked with Alex knows she comes up with some random things when you ask her to play something etc. That would be frustrating but at least they could "Alexa.. Turn on Tuner Classic Movies. You can also set the current technology up for easier use with favorites or default choice options. We use the Roku Device and their services with ESPN and Disney but I'm only a 6 bed sub acute setting so its a but easier to do. I am even researching Alexa voice technology with smart room technology. For someone who cant get out of bed and may have lost their independence being able to turn their own light on is a huge deal for them. Lots of great thing here ladies
Susan 16th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Hi Susan
Thanks for the information
I’d like the Alexa idea
But I am really not that familiar with it and I don’t know if your facility Shantel can afford it
It is something to think about Shantel
Let us know how things are going Shantel

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