Friday, November 30, 2007

Blogs By, For, and About Seniors

In an earlier post (July 14, 2007, to be exact), I quoted from Mary Gale Hare's Baltimore Sun/Chicago Tribune article "Seniors [are] Surging to [the] Internet." According to that article, "The number of [Internet] users over 65 jumped more than 160 percent since 2000, while no other age segment grew more than 70 percent during the same period. . . . Advocates for older Americans believe that trend is crucial to maintaining a healthy life style. Computers are an important way to stay connected, and that's important to successful aging."

Yes, I have friends who resist computers fiercely as new and intrusive, and yes, I have met so-called advocates for the elderly who appear to think that computers are too complex to be understood by "the old dears." Yes, my late mother, when in her late eighties, was afraid to touch a computer, even though she had one, as well as children and grandchildren eager to help her learn. She was a stubborn woman, but after all, she was born in 1911, and computers just hadn't been a part of her life.

Despite such objections, I have noticed some positive things. On visits to my mother's nursing home, I walked past an open door where a female resident was using a computer with huge text on a large screen. That was her way of keeping in touch, and although I never had a chance to talk to her, I admired her from afar. Screen magnification is easily possible for those with poor vision. User-friendly keyboards, track balls, and voice input systems are inexpensively available for those whose fingers are too stiff to type. It's possible to talk and have your speech translated into a typed message. You can find details on all of these things with an Internet search, and there's information in as well.

If you're reading this, you're probably a confirmed computer user, but I hope you'll urge any computer-phobics you know to give computers a try. Anyway, my real purpose here is to remind you that one of the most interesting features of the Internet is the "Elderblog." Among the plethora a senior information and social networking sites (some of them catering too much to boomers at the expense of seniors, I fear), there are many fascinating blogs, or web logs, by, for, and about seniors. Here's where you can learn to appreciate a variety of opinions and concerns, to learn what senior living in all its varieties is really like.

How do you find senior blogs of interest to you (besides this one, of course)? One easy source which I've mentioned before is "Planet Elders" at Click on "Planet" at the top of the page for a news aggregator list of recent posts on elder-related blogs. Both of my blogs are covered there, but so are many more. If the beginning of the post sounds interesting, you can click to read the whole thing and explore that blog. You may find some new favorites.

Perhaps the best-known Elderblogger is Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By ( Ronni maintains a long list of other elderblogs on the left side of her blog, too. Check some of them out.

Here are two recent blog posts on senior living and senior issues that may interest you, both from today's "Planet Elders" list:

"Not So Privaate Eye," on Dogwalk Musing:

"Should We Beware of These Nursing Homes" on Gilbert Guide:

Tell me about your favorite blogs by, for , and about seniors!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Paul @ Elders Tribune said...

Thanks Marlys, again! I'm back from vacation just a few hours ago and is actually catching up on the blogging news using the Planet Elders page myself.

seniorwriter said...

Welcome back, Paul! For me, the Planet Elders page is very important, and I want others to know about it.

Larry said...

Great article.

In addition to blogging, it seems that Seniors are getting more involved in social networking. For example, is a new site where seniors can meet and discuss issues, without dealing with teens, like on facebook or myspace.

seniorwriter said...

I'll have to check out that site. There seem to be so many! That's good, I guess.