Tuesday, May 1, 2012
GARI - Assistance for older people
The numbers are quite incredible. Today almost one in ten people are over 60 years of age, and by 2050, the United Nations estimates there will be nearly 2 billion people over 60, with some suggesting that the number of people over 60 at that time will actually outnumber children under the age of fourteen.
With numbers like these, there is a strong probability that at some point in life, virtually all of us will be helping or caring for at least one parent or other relative. It might be because of failing eyesight, diminishing hearing or physical limitations, but aging brings with it various challenges, which seem to increase in number and severity over time.
One thing though that isn’t lost is the desire to communicate – be it with family friends or just to retain some level of independence. Technology can be a great help in this regard – but the challenge can sometimes be in finding and identifying the right tools, including a mobile phone that best suits the person’s needs.
Visiting a mobile phone shop, for example, to check what’s available can be a hugely trying experience on both sides of the counter. The customer may not be entirely conversant with the digital age or physically capable of handling the operating software’s command structure without help. The shop assistant is probably many years younger and technically savvy, but not at all clued up in how to explain phone functionality to someone who is not as technically literate as themselves.
This then is where the GARI database might help out. With details on over 100 different features of phones and with 550 models currently in the database, there is a wealth of information available to help those looking for a new phone. With just a little thought and research on the GARI database, a trip to buy a new phone can be made much easier for all concerned. Is a flip-top phone or candy-bar easier for the person you are helping? Do they want a relatively simple device or one of the latest smartphones? What ailments do they have that might be helped by different features on the phone itself? Not all phones suit every need, so we don’t try to recommend a particular one – but it can help to identify those phones that might be a better match for the person you are helping or caring for.
Age is certainly no barrier to being able to communicate; it’s just a matter of how you go about it - and we hope that GARI can play a part in that.
If you have had experiences helping someone buy a new phone, we would love to hear about it. What features were you looking for in particular and was it easy to find the right one?