|« CARE OF THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED||RESEARCH AND ACCESSIBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES »|
Technology and it's use is changing rapidly. In many ways it means changing the way we do things. But to use it well it requires us to learn, experiment and think about what's the best use of technology for ourselves.
For example cell phones use is almost universal and a lot of young people are only using cell phones. I myself was late to use a cell phone as I'm home most of the time. But when I realized the safety factor for older people and those with disabilities I bought one. I also hesitated about spending money for a Kindle. Yet I recognized it's value to me when my son 's gave me one for Christmas. It's non- reflective surface, lightness and my ability to increase the type size made it a winner for me. I was kicking myself for not asking for one sooner. I also use an MP3 player when I'm outside working in my garden and when inside I attach it to speakers in my bathroom.
Another area that technology has made a big difference in my life has been with mobility. We now have a large variety of lighter weight walkers, canes and wheelchairs. Once I experienced my own changing needs I was doubly aware of the necessity of the variety needed to meet each disabled person's specific needs. I've used a cane,loftstand crutch, walker, manual and electric wheelchair as needed over my many years with this disease.
Another very big change over the years is the way we get our news and communicate. That all started with the increased use of smaller computers with increasing speed in our homes. The use of the Internet for news and information has expanded to social programs like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter for example. And of course e-mail and skype both for business transactions and personal use.
But learning to use this wonderful new technology is also time consuming and can be frustrating as well as expensive. And when you're older it's just harder to learn new things. For those of us where cognitive loss and fatigue is part of our disability problem that makes it doubly difficult.
Yet people with disabilities have the same needs for social interaction as everyone else. However with aging they can be can be even more isolated and social action more limited. Therefore all these social sources through the internet can be so helpful. And lets not forget e-mail.
The use of this technology is like rolling off a log for young people. But for the older generation with disabilities it's a bit of a stretch. Yet an acquaintance of mine who is in his 90's and has medical problems writes the most wonderful monthly blog on nature. Being a long lover of nature this Biology Professor uses his knowledge with great perceptive writing skills to describe what's happening "out there" every month. He inspires me to say I know we all can do it. http://dwcrockerblog.blogspot.com/
I myself started my own blog because my son's encouraged me to blog and to share my perspective after having worked for years with MS patients as a Physical Therapist. And once I started I wanted to advocate for people with all disabilities by discussing issues and adding my viewpoint.
I am also on Facebook as my nieces asked me to join. Now I don't get onto it as much as I should and I mostly have just kept my friends as my family. I kind of pop on and and see what all my sister's and brother's children are doing and keep in touch that way. I also post things that are interesting in my life too. Another niece helped me put my blog on my Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1208270945&v=box_3
I get e-mails and newsletters from various organizations I support on-line. A few weeks ago I received e-mails that MS Awareness week was coming up. So I went on to their site I thought they had a very interesting promotion on a subject which I had written about in my prior blog. They used the term MS= then you could put in what MS meant to you. So I decided I would do this but in order to do this I had to join Twitter.
My son Sean was handy so he helped walk me through the process of joining Twitter. And I wrote what MS= equals to me. See my prior blog on this March 16th 2011 blog entry: MS AWARENESS WEEK 2011 But then I decided I would like to put my picture with my comments as this is what most other people had done. However in order to do this I had to go through Flicker. So I tried to get myself a "Flickr" account. But I found out that I could only get a Flickr account if I got a Yahoo Account first.
Luckily my son was still there as I was getting ready to flake out. But after a little trial and error I had a Yahoo account and a Flickr Account as well as a Twitter account. And I was able to put my picture with my message on their revolving screen which I had wanted to do.
But now I'm moaning " what do I do with this flickr account, yahoo account and twitter account." But my son said, "a twitter account could be a very good thing for you mom. You're always saving articles that you see and want to write a blog around. But you don't always get the time to write about it. Now that your on twitter you can tweet articles on disability etc. And you could let people who read your blog know that they should check your twitter too." See http://twitter.com/#!/elliesblogforMS
So do check my twitter page as I will try to tweet all the different issues that I read and think of daily that mostly relate to MS and Disability.
You know I do all this from my home based computer. Facebook ,my blog, twitter etc. I don't use any of the portable devices. They are expensive and I don't really need them.
I also use my computer for many other things too. In fact my life is in many on my computer. It helps me organize my life. It saves me time by keeping everything I need in one place.
But I had to spend time and energy learning how to best use it effectively for me. And I am very grateful to my sons who have been extremely helpful. If you think some of the new technology might be helpful to you but know you won't be able to get started by yourself on it or have questions. Do ask someone to help you. And distance doesn't matter. I have both friends and family who are doing this long distance by using: GoToAssist http://www.gotoassist.com/en_US/entry.tmpl
In my next blog I plan to go over my own computer and show how it enables me to do what I want to do.
As you only live once make it as full a life as you can by letting technology help where it's appropriate for you!!! ellie
|<< <||> >>|