Hey old people, read this before you decide you hate technology

This week’s article is for all you old people. I am not writing to the seasoned citizens, senior citizens, the young at heart or boomers. I am writing this article to the people who know they are old. They prefer to be called old because they feel they have earned the title. Anyone who prefers to be called something other than old, is not truly an old person.

Every week, I get told by people of various ages, “I’m too old to learn this stuff.” Sometimes these people are 40 and sometimes they are 90, the actual age doesn’t matter.

No matter how old someone is, it is my observation that no one actually turns old until they give their consent. I have a 98 year old client who I have tutored for several months. I never need to write anything down. I just show her one time how to do something and she locks it away.

I have a 50+ year old client who has 10 pages of notes on how to send an email and he constantly tells me that if he doesn’t write down every detail his old brain will forget it. Essentially all aging people fit into one of two roles portrayed in the movie Grumpy Old Men. They are either Walter Matheu old or Jack Lemon old.

Whether you are an old person who longs to be young again or you are an aging person who seeks to retain youth, there are a few tools that will help.

Creams, exercise, prescription drugs and romance will all help keep you young, but there is one characteristic that all young people have in common…they all love gadgets. That’s right, The fountain of youth is not found in cosmetics, clothing or drugs. Using gadgets is the only thing that will keep your mind and soul young and active.

Here is a list of the best gadgets that I think all old people should learn to use if they want to age backwards.

1. GameBoy with Brain Age – www.brainage.com – The GameBoy is a video game system that you can take anywhere. While there are many fun games that kids can play, there is one game for the GameBoy that has been proven to take years off of your “Brain Age.” Brain Age is a game full of puzzles that test your mental reflexes and require little dexterity. Hospitals and homes for the aging have adopted the Brain Age game to help their patients and clients retain their mental faculties.

2. Palm device or Treo smart phone with Palm OS – www.Palm.com – It is important here that you get a device with the Palm OS and not Windows Mobile.

A Palm is a device that you use to track your appointments, addresses, alarms, medications, shopping lists, games, and even music and videos. It may seem like using such a device would decrease your memory and mental functions, in reality learning how to use and depend on a Palm PDA will open new worlds and capabilities that you are always been afraid to attempt before.

3. Digital Camera – Go buy any name brand digital camera and start using it right away. Not only will this give you a new hobby over night, it is extremely cheap as you don’t have to use film or make prints. Just have fun taking pictures.

4. Nintendo Wii – This is another video game system but it isn’t the shoot-em-up type game system that the youngsters play. The Wii uses motion control and the games are simple. Bowling, golf, baseball and boxing are a few of the more simple games that come in the box. You can add more games if you want, but the provided games will have you hooked right away. Recent studies show that 20 minutes of playing Wii sports games nearly equals 1 hour of walking. There is a great article on the popularity of the Wii with older folks here:

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/samiljan/5868

5. An iPod or other MP3 player – If you enjoy reading or music, this is the perfect gadget to start with. All you need is a computer. An

MP3 player is similar to a portable Walkman or cassette player but instead of playing music from tapes or CDs the music is stored on a tiny computer inside the device. Rather than hold an hour or so of music, MP3 players hold hundreds or thousands of hours of music.

Using services like Audible.com or borrowing CDs from the library you can copy audio books, music, or spoken word to the device and listen to it anywhere you go.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work by adamc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.