Tech-savvy seniors: embracing virtual options – Global News Calgary


Jody Hughes (00:00):

It is hard to imagine a year like this past one without technology, but the learning curve for certain apps and devices can be quite steep. MP Fortin with Ohana Care Health Services joins us now to talk about how important it can be for seniors to adopt some of these technical options. Good morning, MP. Thank you for being with us.

MP Fortin (00:21):

Good morning. Thank you for having me.

Jody Hughes (00:22):

Well, we’ve certainly learned that technology can help keep us connected with our loved ones, but sometimes introducing these new devices and these new apps can be overwhelming. So how can we help our seniors embrace these new things?

MP Fortin (00:37):

Well, I would start with having a conversation with them about the technology that they want to use on the devices that they’re comfortable using. Some good arguments to warm them up to the idea is the accessibility of the devices. As opposed to paper, you can adjust the level of brightness, the fonts, there’s queuing, reminders. You can name all those reminders, those appointments as well. There’s a lot of specialized equipment that can also be accessed if they’re fearing that they’re not going to be able to use it, for whatever reason that may be. And when teaching a loved one a new technology, it’s best to keep it light, keep it fun, make sure that they’re really feeling confident in their skills before moving on to a new app or a new action.

Jody Hughes (01:19):

And obviously, staying connected is one of the most important benefits of technology, but really there are just so many other bonuses that come with adopting these different forms of technology, aren’t there?

MP Fortin (01:34):

Oh, of course, because when you’re learning a new technology it keeps your brain sharp, you stay really healthy, it stimulates your brain and it’s mastering those basic skills. They also broaden your level of independence because then you can do your own research, you can access so many more information that are pertinent to your health, your lifestyle, and it broadens your entertainment options as well. You can get exercise classes, old movies, things that you wouldn’t honestly get into your regular medias that you’re used to.

Jody Hughes (02:08):

Well, and there are really a lot of different places that we can all go, including seniors to help learn how some of these programs, these apps, and these devices work. Can you offer us any suggestions?

MP Fortin (02:20):

Well, right now, with the restrictions, there are limited hands on options for seniors to access unfortunately, with the COVID. However, we still have the home care companies and caregivers going into the home for family members as well. So for instance, with Ohana Care, we have something called the family portal where the caregivers can walk through onto your smart phone, your iPad, your computer, they walk you through all steps so you can see your visits, your care plan, your visitations, everything into this one portal that can be accessed with your family members. So it just brings peace of mind for even family members that may be living far away or unable to visit at this time. And communicating all that care information through technology, it helps just keeping our regular conversations light and fun as opposed to talking about the day to day of a senior life.

Jody Hughes (03:12):

Well, for sure. And I will say this with all love to my own mother, but sometimes when you are the person teaching a family member new technologies, it can take some effort. And so sometimes it’s good to have somebody else be your liaison in there. Sorry, mom. MP, thank you so much for your time today. We certainly do appreciate it. For folks who would like some more information, you can head to

MP Fortin (03:39):

Thank you so much.


Ohana Care

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