Event will help seniors clear tech’s hurdles

Day by Day: Event will help seniors clear tech’s hurdles

By LIZ THOMPSON

August 11, 2019

This Week News

When we reach age 55, we are considered senior citizens.

That means we can join a senior center and receive discounts at stores.

Those of us born between 1944 and 1964 often are called baby boomers. We came of age before computers were in homes and certainly before we could hold one in our hand or on our lap.

Most of us, and definitely those born earlier, remember the first TV in our homes, and some remember party lines on telephones. Rarely did we have more than one telephone or TV in our homes. We set what was called rabbit-ear antennae on top of the TV and moved them around to get a fairly good black-and-white picture.

Over the years, we became aware of technology seeping into our daily lives. Those of us fortunate enough to work where we learned our way around computers have a fair advantage over those who did not. We grew into the knowledge, making the advances less traumatic.

Even if senior citizens find technology confusing or frustrating, it can help some stay in their home longer and more safely. It’s called “aging in place,” meaning a person lives and ages in their residence of choice for as long as they are able.

Aging in place includes having services, care and needed support in the residence.

But the idea meets some hurdles in the health, social and emotional needs that must be addressed to help people maintain well-rounded lives.

The Upper Arlington (Ohio) Commission on Aging understands these challenges and offers an annual symposium on different topics to inform senior citizens.

This year, the topic is “Technology and Aging: What You Need to Know and What You Want to Know.”

Presentations will include “Aging and your Health Care” and “Aging in Place.”

This year’s symposium is set from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m Sept. 18 at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, 2300 Lytham Road.

From 8:30 to 9 a.m., those who attend may view exhibits from technology groups, companies and other related sponsors with the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging.

The free event includes lunch.

Registration is required, and the deadline is Sept. 11. To register, call 614-407-5748 or go to uacoa.com and use the “contact us” form.

Featured speakers are Donna Matturri, technology and media librarian with the Upper Arlington Public Library, and Danielle Murphy, consumer educator from Attorney General David Yost’s office.

“We hear so much in the news about the worst possible outcomes in technology: identity theft, hacking, fake news,” Matturri said. “When you have to sort through all that negative noise, it feels nearly impossible to stay positive about using a smartphone or computer.

“Technology can connect us to family and friends (and help us make new friends), keep us organized, help us stay safe and active and, through your local library’s resources, entertain you.”

Murphy will inform guests about the Cybersecurity, Help, Information and Protection Program.

“The presentation is a basic educational session designed to help consumers stay safe in cyberspace,” she said. “As consumers of all ages rely more and more on technology, it is vital they understand how to protect their electronic devices and keep personal information private.”

Murphy said her presentation will focus on the importance of security and privacy, including the special challenges brought by mobile devices.

She will offer seniors practical security and privacy tips they can put to use and will provide copies of the CHIPP booklet to all who attend.

This booklet is available at ohioattorneygeneral.gov by clicking on “publications” and looking for the CHIPP under the “consumers” header. The booklet also can be ordered by calling 800-282-0515.

A panel, moderated by Age-Friendly Columbus, will feature representatives from Nesterly, Smart Columbus and Lyft.

The forum is open to all senior citizens.

If you have the desire, write, share and enjoy

If you have the desire, write, share and enjoy
By Liz Thompson
November 20, 2013
ThisWeekNews

Everyone has many a story to tell. Is it “worth writing a book about” is a question I hear often from people with stories they think are worth the ink.

Recently, I was at Praises Books and Gifts in Lancaster where they hosted a book signing for my second book. Sitting with me was Kathleen Welty who has three stories in this book, along with 14 other contributors.

Since I live in Grove City and grew up in Westerville, Lancaster obviously is not my hometown but it is Kathleen’s. She let friends and family know of the event and many came to see her and meet me. The best experience of the day was meeting these old friends and family of Kathleen and others who attended.

Kathleen’s inspirational stories show how God has touched her life. All three were accepted by the publisher, while some others, by other people, were not. They didn’t fit the theme but were well written.

I fought for one of Kathleen’s stories to stay in the book. Three times it was cut and still kept showing up in a new working manuscript. The third time, I said that it must be meant to stay in and the publisher agreed.

This day, I met Kathleen’s longtime Campfire leader and we talked about how different it was from my Girl Scout experiences. Some friends since first grade showed up with smiling faces and warm memories.

One woman asked about getting published. She had heard of an online service where she could self-publish and she kept talking. When she stopped, I asked how much she had written.

“Nothing yet. But it’s about relationships,” she said.

“Is your goal to simply be published or to tell the story?” I asked.

Her answer was to tell me the experiences. I was hooked and told her I’d read it but she had to get writing. I suggested she sit and write from the heart telling the stories just like she told us that day.

“Don’t edit or worry about sentence structure, just write freely,” I said. “Edit later and do lots of it.”

Our Grove City Writers’ Group supports this idea of editing well and often and that editors are our friends. I have always believed that. We all agree, too, that we can’t have a thin skin if we are going to be writers — published or not. Not everyone reading our work will like it. I don’t like every book or article I read, do you?

Being published or seeing a byline really does hold a personal thrill but I believe writing is about expressing our thoughts, recording personal and family history, sharing our experiences and more. Most artists I know of different mediums are compelled to express themselves.

Also recently, I had the good fortune to talk with the Current Events group at the Upper Arlington Senior Center. They asked me to talk about my life as a writer. I still need to remind myself that, in fact, I am a writer. It’s such a natural act for me and I’ve been blessed with venues like this newspaper, magazines and my books to express my thoughts and experiences.

Having been a reporter in Upper Arlington for two years, this was especially pleasant for me. I did quite a few stories on members of this senior center and other senior citizens in this lovely burg. Their stories often were the stuff of history books, or what they should be.

My Uncle Walter and Aunt Eva Page lived there for years and of course I visited as a girl and as an adult. I used to love hearing my uncle tell stories of his life on the farm on the East Side of Columbus. He wrote them down for his grandsons. My father-in-law made tapes of his life in Southeast Ohio as a coal miner and all his other experiences.

Things I heard growing up from my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents seemed so distant from the life I knew. But these are tales of the people who helped form America’s history. They lived it, fought in the wars for our freedom and raised families against many odds. We can learn from this generation and need to listen.

Many have written their stories and been published. But whether or not you get published, I encourage you to write, share and enjoy.