Computer technology can add so much to your life!

AgeWise Colorado Action Plan on Technology

AgeWise Colorado’s Guide to Aging in Place

A guide for older adults and adult children of older adults

Introduction

When AgeWise Colorado refers to “Technology” we are talking about:

  1. Internet Access – To access the Internet you need to pay a monthly fee to an “Internet Service Provider (ISP) and they give you a user name and password that you use to access the Internet (world wide web) from a computer device
  2. Computer Device – To access the Internet you need a computer device such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone

With your Internet access connected and you own a computer device, you can now access the Internet. The Internet can be used for:

  • Computer Tech Training & Entertainment
  • Online Banking and Bill Paying
  • Telemedicine Appointments
  • Medical Technology from pill dispensers to fall alert systems to medical devices that monitor health conditions

If you are new to the Internet and computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones, we highly recommend that you take some classes or hire a tech support person to train you on the dangers of the Internet. The Internet is a powerful tool, but it can connect you to people who are not who they say they are, and one does have to be careful of the type of websites you link to.

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Internet Access and Computer Devices

To access the Internet, you need a computer and Internet access. Internet access can be provided by a phone company, streaming provider or other independent Internet access providers. Prices and speeds vary widely across Colorado and some rural areas in Colorado have very limited and often expensive access to the Internet. Also, in general accessing the Internet through a smart phone tends to cost more than having an Internet Service that is provided in the home through a modem.
Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modem

The Internet, computers and smart phones are becoming so important to our lives that before relocating to a new area in the state, you should check into what Internet service providers are available where you are relocating. In rural areas of Colorado, you may find the Internet service providers are very limited while in an urban area, if you are moving to an apartment you should inquire if Internet access is included in the rent.

When it comes to computers you have a variety of sources to purchase a computer from such as Best Buy, Microcenter, Costco and other big box stores. There are also smaller independent computer retail storefronts that sell used and refurbished computers.

For those who are lower income and using the food benefit SNAP, there are low cost Internet service provider programs and refurbished computers available from non-profit organizations. Look into EveryoneOn.
Website: https://www.everyoneon.org/

If you are new to computer technology, you should look for a relative or friend that can give you advice on types of computers, tablets and even smart phones. Once you have some background, then ask this friend to help you evaluate choices of computer technology.

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Computer Technology and Entertainment

Even before COVID-19 there was a wide variety of online seminars that one could attend. Some are more educational while others are pure entertainment. Some may charge a fee while other online events are free. Here are some online entertainment providers:

General Education

Computer and Technology Education

Newsfeeds

Explain pay walls

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Online Banking and Bill Paying

Another benefit of having Internet access and a computer is the ability to do online banking, transfers and online bill paying. If you get involved with online banking do take some courses on how to keep your account safe. 

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Telemedicine

Once you have access to the Internet and a computer device, then you can access healthcare through the Internet. Today with COVID-19 this is an important aspect of being computer literate. For example, with a computer that has a video camera you can meet with your doctor in the comfort of your home through a telemedicine appointment. Many health insurance companies are offering this type of service along with phone consultations. There are some limitations on the type of medical conditions that can be treated through a telemedicine appointment, but some examples are the typical flu, gout, sinus infection, pink eye along with others. Non-opioid prescriptions can also be prescribed during a telemedicine appointment if needed.

Medical Technology

As one aims to Age in Place, often physical needs change and medical conditions develop that need monitoring. There are a wide variety of medical devices available that help monitor these conditions. The technology helps the older adult checking about their medical condition without having to leave their home. Typically, the medical monitoring device is connected to a telemedicine program where the physician and patient talk on a regular basis. Medical technology at home can include medication reminder devices, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) for fall detection and wander management systems.

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Other Devices to Check Out