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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elderly Early Adopter

by guest blogger Jo Myers, Author-Speaker

An early adopter tries out new technology before other people do.

At age 87, Kathryn is an early adopter, once removed.

With macular degeneration stealing her vision, Kathryn was desperate to enjoy her hobby of reading. Her son-in-law, Greg, looked into e-readers, but they were not backlit; Kathryn saw only blank screens when she looked at them. When iPad became available, Greg checked it out and bought it.

"I didn't tell her how much it cost until after she was hooked," related Greg.

"It took me half a day to learn how to use it," said Kathryn. "I like the book feel of the iPad. You roll your fingers across the screen and it makes the pages curl and turn from one to the other."

Greg and Kathryn were disappointed to learn that, unlike Nook and Kindle, iPad couldn't be used at the library; book downloads are available only through iStore. Another downside: it's not easy to charge the device if you are visually impaired.

"I'm always looking for new products that help Kathryn read," said Greg. "She just got a Looky. It's a small electronic magnifying glass with a foldout handle that works like a camera zoom. I took her to the store and let the clerk take it from there. It's better when it's her idea."

No matter the age, anyone can be an early adopter, once removed. All you need is a tech advocate, the willingness to learn something new, and ... money.

Former radio personality Jo Myers uses her voice to promote preplanning for death when not in crisis-management mode. Her book "Good to Go" (Sterling Publishing, 2010) and keynote, "Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess" contain tips and advice for anyone who might die someday and the professionals who serve them. - 303.808.8280