Honey, did you forget the Smart Phone?

An insight into the interactions of senior adults and technology comes from a friend whose mother has Alzheimer’s. She cannot remember that the chocolate-bar shaped thing her son carries around is a phone. It remains utterly novel and incomprehensible, especially because it doesn’t have a physical, numeric keypad. The idea of texting is science fiction to her—phones are for talking, but this “phone” doesn’t seem to have a mouth- or ear-piece.

Yet, what it does resemble is a pad of paper. And since this particular phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note, it can perform like one. Thus, with her son’s help, she happily writes notes on it, which he sends off as texts to his father. Now, even when he’s outside or in another part of the house, she can “converse” easily with her husband.

It’s a wonderful piece of enabling technology for both of them, since her condition has left her almost voiceless, and he suffers from age-related hearing loss. Nevertheless, there has been some pushback. Unfortunately for my friend’s father, “Sorry, honey, I forgot to put in my hearing aid,” no longer works as an excuse.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvH6vbhOs6Y]