Kim Shin is a technology instructor and resident at Hunters Woods Fellowship House who teaches older adults how to use a smartphone, tablet, the internet, and more. She has been using technology since she was 50 years old and still loves learning about new ways to utilize technology. She also loves what technology has to offer for older adults.
Mrs. Shin believes technology is important to older adults because it provides communication, access to information, health monitoring, independent living, cognitive stimulation, and access to services. A common way she loves to communicate is with Kakao talk, an app frequently used in the South Korean community. However, there are plenty of messaging apps that are available to older adults such as messenger, iMessage, WhatsApp, etc. Messaging and videochatting are an important way for loved ones to stay connected to each other and reduce feelings of loneliness. The internet is a vast place with plentiful information and services to access such as news sources, online banking, online doctor’s appointments, streaming services, social media, navigation, cloud storage, research, educational material, online courses, and more. She believes the internet empowers them to stay informed, continue learning, and engage in lifelong education. It also provides opportunity for independent living since smart home devices, voice assistants, medication reminders, and remote monitoring systems can enhance older adults’ safety and health. Technology is also great to keep older adults’ minds active and engaged. There are a wide variety of activities that promote mental well-being such as brain training apps, puzzles, games, and online communities where people can participate in discussions and share their expertise on topics.
Mrs. Shin emphasizes that older adults have an easier time with smartphones that have large screens and a simple interface. Having simple icons and large texts help with visibility and interaction. Tablets are most suitable for older adults due to their larger screens and having the same tools as a smartphone.
Internet safety is an important topic for Mrs. Shin. She provides education and awareness about phishing, scams, identity theft, password security, and safe browsing habits. She also practices having a strong password with the residents and clicking/tapping on safe websites, emails, or messages. By providing support and communication, she encourages older adults to reach out with any concerns and questions about potential online threats.
Technology should not have to be a scary concept. Mrs. Shin believes everyone should have an open mind and a willingness to learn about technology since it is ever evolving and changing. Try one of her classes and see how technology is more beneficial than a drawback in everyday life.
By Stephanie N. Concepcion, Marketing Coordinator Intern