Anything Goes

Tech And Aging Parents

Technology changes fast, it is hard to keep up with. Imagine what it must be like with our senior citizens. It is confusing and can be frustrating for anybody, but for this population, it can be much worse. Just for simple things that were natural for them like checking in at the doctor’s office or an auto checkout line at the store can be very intimidating.

I’m sure we all have parents with these challenges, especially with their home life. A few years back my mom bought her first iPhone, she is much better with it now, but in the beginning, she called tech support (me) several times a week. She thinks since I work in a tech field I must be an expert in all things technology. Usually, the explanation goes like this “Hi, this is mom (I know this from her voice) I’m trying to get my picture on my phone from the first screen so I can see it all the time” I’m pretty sure experienced people at Apple would not know what that means. In any event, I hand her off to level 2 tech support (my wife) who is better versed in the nuances of the iPhone and patience than I am. Problem solved.

I also do on-site tech support. The other day my mom calls and asked to come down to help with the TV. She said “Dads tv does not get amazon prime anymore and her tv the Netflix is in Arabic or Hebrew” I was not aware my mom was well versed in middle east languages. Anyway, I head down there, it is a pretty long drive and I wish I could go more often, but I do the best I can. They are getting older, my dad has a walker he uses at times and my mom had back surgery, she has a walker too. It is the walker event at an elderly Olympics in their house.

After relaxing from the drive and having some coffee, it was time to take a look at this technology issue. Of course, we stated with my mom’s TV since that is where the Arabic or Hebrew virus started. When I turned on the TV it was pretty evident we had no network connection and there was no evidence of any middle east terrorist attack on my parents. This leads us into phase two, “what is your password?” and here is where me and my dad get blamed. I’m not sure why I get lumped in there since I don’t live there but my dad was home when their router/modem was replaced. There you go the root of the issue is, of course, my dad. Well, this was an easy fix. I’m not sure why the putz of a technician did not do this, I entered the password, both TV’s now function with no middle east malware and we can start watching the new Jack Ryan season 2 on Amazon. All in the world is good, for a moment…

My mom wants all the wires gone from the computer. The computer is over 6 years old but they still have a cable to the router/modem and a cable to the printer, which is also wireless. My dad is convinced the wires are needed. Once I put in their wireless password and downloaded a bunch of drivers for the printer and like magic, fully wireless. They were in awe. The hardest part of this task was waiting for that boat anchor of a computer to start, it is so old you could do the three S’s (shower, shit, and shave) before it was ready to go. Once we were done and moved the computer in place my dad wanted to put the wires back in, still convinced they are needed. Once I showed him he can get to mail without them he was all set. He needs his mail so he can send out his jokes. 🤣🤣🤣

Well, that’s it for today. My mom was mentioning the new iPhone and I gave them an iPad, anytime now I expect new tech support calls. I would send them a bill but they built up so many credits over the years helping me I could never repay that so the tech support is the least I can do.

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