81 Year-Old Japanese Woman Learns Programming, And Launches Her First App.
You are never too old to learn something new. Technology has been for the most part aimed at the younger demographics as they pick up new things pretty quickly. Nonetheless, this doesn't mean the older generations are not capable of learning how to use a computer.
According to the Pew Research Center, internet usage among people 65 years and older grew by 150 percent between 2009 and 2011. This is the largest jump among all the demographic groups. Social media sites like Facebook and Skype serve as a way for the older generation to stay connected both with family and friends.
Katherine Sellen, a post-doctoral researcher at the Technologies for Aging Gracefully Lab at the University of Toronto in Canada, says being technologically savvy goes beyond knowing how to use a computer. "We know … from other research, keeping socially active can be very beneficial for wellness," Sellen explains. "Keeping active physically is important but social activity also helps to elevate mood and to help to actually impact healing and it can keep cognitive function ongoing as well as one ages."
Masako Wakamiya is a former banker who retired at the age of 60.
She found herself caring for her mother but she wanted to do things that fulfilled her and kept her connected to people.
She bought herself her very first computer. She figured out how to set it up and log on to the internet all on her own.
She joined an online community for people 60 and older. But this was just the beginning for Wakamiya. She launched her own blog where she shares her travel experiences with her readers.
She began creating Excel Art, using authentic Japanese designs.
The patterns can be printed to use for book covers, gift bags, and fans. She loves making her designs because "it's just so much fun."
Wakamiya says you don't have to be a professional to create this type of work.
"If you have creativity, innovative, a little bit of a playful mind, you can do anything," according to the now 81-year-old.
She describes knowing how to use technology as giving her wings. She encourages those in the "silver age" to embrace technology.
She urges seniors to get online and communicate with their grandkids. Wakamiya also runs an online group called Mellow Club, with the goal of "promoting friendship among seniors, but also making contribution to the society." Although it is a senior citizens group, the members strive to utilize state-of -the art information technology in many of their activities.
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