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I just had an aha moment as to why my parents refuse to get cable TV... the remotes are too complicated. Even I get baffled and I am usually good at figuring things out. Back when my Dad worked at GE he designed one of the first remotes.. it was so simple.... TV on or off... volume up or down.... change channels [of course back then we had a grand total of 3 to 4 channels]. Now look at today's remotes.

Last year Mom got a new washing machine... whatever happened to just ON/OFF,Hot, Cold, Heavy Load, Light Load, Delicate... and that was it. This machine was so complicated even Dad, who is an engineer, wasn't sure how to do a simple load of wash... plus the letter on the machine was in light blue which looked pretty but it was tough for aging eyes to read.

When we get into our 90's, I wonder what technology will be like then... will we need to sit in the dark because we can't figure out how to turn on the lights in the living room using our telephone???

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Gonzalez38, you are not alone, I really dislike cellphones maybe because I was so use to the clear sound from a landline, not the dropped sounds and loud back ground noise from the cellphone. And I noticed just about everyone who has a cellphone TALKS VERY LOUD. In my home, the previous owner has 15 telephone jacks.... so there are land-line telephones everywhere... no running, tripping over the cat, or stubbing a toe to find that ringing cellphone that dropped into the trash can :0 Plus I need to stock up on those long 25 foot handset cords as they are getting harder to find.

Sounds like in your household a mix of simple old fashioned technology along with some modern technology is working. Your'wife is one step ahead of me, I can't use a laptop.... the keyboard is too awkward, I need a regular keyboard and Mouse.
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It is dificult. And is more if you add age and mental confusion. Many years ago we passed from wall phones to wireless, they worked fine for years, and my wife evolved to cell. I never did because for some strange reason I disliked even if I used a lot of computers and technology. I just did not like them.
Things changed when my wife began with Alz. we had being changhing m any things. As she has being evolving she just copuld not use the cell, nor the credit cards, just coud not remember the code and after some times going to the bank , I just "forgot" to give her one. The cell phones were another problem, she misplaced every where and we never find it, my solution was to re-install the wall type with nothing different, just the basic, and is working fine, I installed lines, simple lines and sockets where we use to have the cell ones and bought simple wall phones. Solved. Sam e with the washing machine, we bought a new one without any modernities. Simple. I am doing the same with everything, radio, tv, microwave, etc. for computing, she is using an old HP laptop for simple games like the basic Mahjong, and is happy. On tue other hand I discovered with the smartphones thast they are closer to the computers, and that I can have an app with a GPS that allows me to monitor her outside. A grand relieve!! So, I am having to learn to use a Galaxy. Thats is life!!!
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Freflyer I can manage a power outage just as well as your parents BUT I have the luxury of an automatic generator so I don't have to. Can't use the stove but can plug in a hot plate and toaster oven plus the microwave etc.
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Nicholas29, even a simple power outage can cause a family to go into a melt down. Especially if one hasn't recharged their cellphone and any of the other devices that need to be recharged.

It's funny, I find the power outage more difficult to deal with then my parents [90's].... they just go on like nothing happened. Dad gets out the battery operated lanterns, Mom prepares lunch/dinner using items that don't need cooking, etc. It's like they are back in the 1920's :)
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Nicholas it really concerns me that in the case of an EMP the skills needed for a more basic technology, and indeed, way of life will have been lost.
Today's young adults do not know how to make simple repairs, their solution is to pick up their I phone and call a repair person. This also includes my own three children now in their forties who were raised in a home where these skills were practiced daily. Technology is very important in our lives and as a senior I appreciate the fantastic advances in medical technology in particular, but I also appreciate the ability I have to mend a hole in my socks.
Many of those over 50 and/or cognitively impaired can navigate the new world technology if it is properly presented. The real problem is that instructions with new products are frequently poorly translated from far away countries in print so small an ant would need a magnifying glass.
Another problem recently encountered was an elevator and I still don't know what the letters actually mean. I know to press T if I want the lobby and that T1 and T2 are the two basement levels.
Apart from acrynoms there is a whole new language out there. We no longer have garbage men they are now sanitation engineers (without an increase in pay) Try finding X-ray in the hospital. It is now "Imaging" may seniors are perfectly capable of learning new technologies but many don't want to have to waste time on that. There are far more fulfilling ways of spending our time. Smelling the roses and watching the sunset come to mind.
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Technology is certainly helping our lives in medicine and business but it is a real shame what it is causing to the personal lives of many of us over age 50. Someday technology will be brought to its knees when an EMP may occur from one of a number of sources. Then we'll have to return to more basic technology.
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Veronica91, found it some years ago on-line. It's been quite helpful :) Go to Google and type in "acronym finder".
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Wow fregflyer there is an acronyms dictionary?
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bookluvr, same here regarding the cellphone [or *sellphone* as the companies are always trying to get us to upgrade]. I have to laugh, if someone told us 20 years ago we would be typing with our thumbs, I would think they were out of their minds. I use my cell only for emergencies.... I do have the pull out keyboard for texting but I get too flustered trying to type and I give up and call the person instead. One advantage of texting, those who feel the need to talk LOUD on the cellphone now do texting, so the environment is a tad quieter :)

I don't have a Face Book account. If something very important is going on in someone's life, they can call me and tell me about it, and vise versa. My significant other has repeatedly told his grown daughter to stop posting photos of her young daughters on Face Book... you never know who will lift off a copy and use it elsewhere. Does she listen? No.

Veronica91, the abbreviation texting that the younger people use reminds me of short hand class in high school :) Where I work, we have been looking for new employees, and we will get e-mail cover sheets in text language.... if we find ourselves spending too much time using an acronyms dictionary, that resume goes to the bottom of the pile.
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I am right with you Book. I do have a cell phone but rarely use it and seldom give out the number. I will probably upgrade to one with a camera but that is because the one I am looking at has an emergency panic button and they can locate you with GPS. no extra cost for the one endorced by the over 55s company whoose name I can't mention. I do like my laptop though
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I stil have the old fashion washer – Permanent Press, Fragile, etc.. Very very simple. The lady at Kmart said that the companies are no longer making those washers. That the new thing is electronic which requires being indoor. I don’t know what we’re going to do when this one crashes – it’s an outside washer.

I find that most of my siblings in the mainland rarely responds to my email. The in-thing is to go on Facebook, post there so that everyone reads your message. No one believes in privacy anymore. I refuse to cave in to FB. They have admitted to having programs that follow everywhere you go on the internet, sell your info to advertisers. And just recently – admitted to using some of you as experiments. FB believes that they can do whatever they want with Every Single Word and Photos you put in their site. I’m of the old school – I don’t trust anyone who thinks they’re above the law just because they were smart enough to put all those tiny prints you agreed in order to become a member.

My sis got me an Iphone because my cellfone was a dinosaur (flip open Samsung $30.00 prepaid cell phone.) I really tried to use her Iphone. I gave it back. I like my dinosaur phone. But, I did buy another phone with keyboards –except the numbers are so faded blue you cannot see it. They want me to use the screen to type in the numbers. Uhm.. how do you tap the number with your big finger on that small square? Oh, well, who goes around carrying that small skinny stick? have to find it somewhere in the bottom of the purse. Hello???? So, I'm back to squinting and angling the phone trying to see those faded blue numbers on the keyboard.
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I like big numbers on my cell phone. I DO NOT TEXT
I do not understand how todays schoolchildren can learn the language of texting but fail with a foreign language.
I learnt my multiplication tables so well I can answer quicker than a calculator but that is the extent of my expertise.
Love my computer it is such a mine of information . Email is wonderful.
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looloo, call and tell them your mom was so worried about how much it was going to cost...and how much is it going to be, really?? Then after you get a lower price you tell them sweetly that mom is mmm..."just a little confused sometimes..." and you are actually in charge of cancelling and uncancelling appointments. Bet it's not far from the truth. right? If it works, then both my Tale of the Tea Towel and your Debacle of the DoorBell can have happy endings.
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By the way, the Pepper website address is correct, but the hyperlink may not work - it doesn't work on my computer. I had to type it into the browser directly to get the site. It's a Japanese address.

Don't be put off by Pepper's Japanese manners. She actually bows to the audience. It might be fun to have a robot with nice medieval manners around the house. I think of it as a she because she seems to have a waist.
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Has anyone seen the Japanese robot called Pepper? It is designed to have emotional intelligence and carry on a conversation so that it can be a companion for elders and small children. It is about four feet high and has very expressive hands and natural gestures.

If you want to see Pepper in action, watch the press conference translated into English at: webcast.softbankmobile.co.jp/en/conference/20140605/index.html

The Japanese are quite keen on developing robots to help take care of the aging population, of whom they have more than we do in North America. Pepper is designed to learn from whatever situation he/she/it is placed in.
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gladimhere -- I just got a call back, and they informed me that my mother cancelled the appt. I am throwing up my hands at this point.
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The iPad is down?! Now I have heard it all!
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An hour ago, I called a service in my mother's community that provides assistance w/household repairs and maintenance. I had called them on Monday morning regarding fixing her doorbell. Got their voice mail, so I left a message asking them to call me back. No call back, so here I am two days later calling them again. I get a human being, and ask what the status is w/my mother's doorbell. I'm told that their "Ipad is down" and that she can't look anything up for me, but as soon as it's up, she'll call me back.
Lol, when we used paper and pencils to schedule things, this would not have been a problem!
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Back to your original post...I remember using those old ringer washing machines...painstakingly pulling soggy wet clothes out and running them through the ringer.

Washing machines that spun the clothes were a major step forward.
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YES
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sunflo2, you brought up some things I have forgotten about, like pumping gas, and microwaves.

I saw an ad for one of those new watch cellphones.... wonder if it comes with a magnifying glass?

Don't get me started on the programmable furnace thermostats, I had mine replaced couple decades ago with an old fashioned turn dial.... then later on with a very simple digital thermostat. My parents have a programmable one that they are always getting messed up, and I have no clue how to program it. Dad won't get a simple one, he doesn't want to pay for a new one.... [sigh]
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I guess it depends; yes, we welcome technologies that enhance our wellness and health and the many medical devices, diagnostics, etc that make life better.

But I will agree with most of the posts here, everything is complicated and I hear seniors including my mom (91) feeling like they are being left behind and isolating themselves from full living because they feel "dumb".

Pumping gas--everything is electronic, prompting 10 questions before you can even pump the gas--do you want to use debit, credit, cash, do you have a rewards card, do you want a car wash, etc BEFORE you can even select your gas grade and pump.

My mom doesn't know how to use a debit card, she can't remember a pass code.

Hearing aids, Bluetooth enabled.

Cell phones, buttons aren't user friendly for arthritic hands.

Folks can't see the tiny connection to plug it in for charging.

Wireless phone? My mom can't seat it right in the cradle to chArge. Her house is so old, it doesn't have a telephone jack in the tv room, or living room or any bedrooms but the MB in which she no longer sleeps. She can't hear the phone when she is in other rooms.

Microwaves? Coffee machines? They too have too many choices.

We may fare a little better because we use computers and electronics, but whT happens when we get forgetful, or our eyes go, our fingers aren't as nimble?

My hope is that youth of today will design useful tools, TVs electronics, appliances, etc which are simple and ADA accessible so we can remain as independent as possible and be able to operate our home comforts.
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The Woodward Cruise.... how awesome that looks.... cars that were easy to use, just a few push buttons or knobs.... window crank handles.... door lock where you actually had to put the key in to lock.... floor vents, which I really miss... side vent windows... ah, those huge chrome bumpers.... and you could tell one brand of car from other, not like today where everything in its class looks the same.

Todays new cars are way too complicated... computer screens... TV/video screens.... blue tooth.... heck, it's like driving your family room down the road. No wonder our parents keep hanging onto their old Cadillacs, Buicks, and Oldsmobiles.

And I plan to keep my 18 year old Jeep until the wheels fall off... I don't need to relearn where everything is :)
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Linda, I've found those kinds of annoying "coincidences" as well. Google's searches sometimes return hits that have similar word structures but nothing to do with the actual search.

But from a Spanish name to Dell's stock to a blue whale is quite a journey!
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GA, when you're dealing with gastro, cardio and neuro, sometimes there's myopia that occurs. It's really important to have a family member watching the whole picture. I do find that my GPS and I have words sometimes...I was asking for directions to a street with a Spanish name that including the word "del" and she kept giving me the Dell stock report.....finally she asked me if I wanted to see a picture of a blue whale.
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For anyone who wants to view photos of the Woodward Dream Cruise:

google/images?hl=en&q=woodward+dream+cruise&gbv=2&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=8USzU-mXDpKgyAThkoHoBA&ved=0CCUQsAQ
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Linda, what I find hilarious is when I call the utility company to report a power outage and am advised that I can go online to check on the status of the outage.

It's also irritating when appliances come w/o any manuals and I have to search through pages to find what I need, or incur the cost of ink and paper to print out what used to be a standard accompaniment for a purchase.

Good idea to do your research while waiting in the hospital.
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Freqflyer... thanks much... did you ever strike a cord with Tech-problems and how they affect Seniors, judging by the many responses... My PC whiz son will enjoy your rendition... I copy/pasted it to e-mail to him... That Woodward Cruise also struck my nosiness... Not having grown up here I did not know this one living too far away...The many suggestion in your text will take a while to follow up... very gracious of you !! Google told me this:
Woodward Cruise The Woodward Dream Cruise occurs on the third Saturday in August along the original cruising strip in Detroit's northern suburbs. The event is a tribute to the classic Woodward cruisers and attracts approximately 1 million people[3] and 40,000 muscle cars, street rods, and custom, collector, and special interest vehicles........WOW.... a million folks, 40,000 oldies...!!! that should heat up the pavements a bit...!!
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I really appreciated my texting when my husband was in the hospital. I was too tired to talk, didn't feel like rehashing with everyone so I'd send a short text to everyone. I always take my iPad when family is in the hospital because I want to be able to research my questions. Well, there Mom was, in ER, slightly wigging out and dang if I wasn't able to pull up a Thursday night football game! Three hours of diversion from the endless waiting game.
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KEdwards, can you print the instructions on a label and stick it on the back of the phone? That's what we did and it helps Dad. I use the Avery mailing or shipping labels; some of them are just the right size.

FreqFlyer, what we used to do back in the old days before we all got caller ID was to call, let the phone ring twice, then hang up. Few minutes later we would call back and Mom, Dad or Sis knew it was a friendly call. And by that time they had opportunity to get to the phone so they weren't rushing.
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