My retirement community consumes hundreds of pounds of paper daily. Each of the 400 or so residents gets a dozen or so pages a day of notices/menus/activities/etc. related to our community life. I think maybe I hit a sore spot by bringing up this fact. Here we are 22 years into the new century, and they seem to be stuck in the 20th Century.
Being an IT guy who retired at the beginning of this century, it still bugs me to see people not taking advantage of technological innovation. If every apartment in the community had a communications center all of this paperwork and the manual efforts to distribute it could easily be eliminated. I know that consoles can be on the expensive side, but it can also be done on the “not-so-expensive” side. Just buy everyone a tablet and program it to make the home page a private retirement info center website. If tablets are too expensive then how about a Kindle Fire one. They can be purchased for a hundred bucks.
I became somewhat famous in my corporate life by developing tools to help a group of 400+ engineers do their work faster and more easily. One tool I made for maybe $30K replaced a system that cost twenty times that annually. I made a tool that did the job but didn’t have all the bells and whistles and the resulting complications of corporate wide mammoths.
To get back to my retirement community, I may just develop a demonstration tool that can show them it can easily, and inexpensively be done. That is, if I get bored with what I am doing now. That seems to happen often.
I would love for my retirement community to go digital. Even if just a little at a time. Maybe they could use the money saved to bring up a second dining option that I so dearly desire. 🥴
4 thoughts on “RetComLife #32 – Joining the 21st Century”
Even cheaper than a kindle is one of those dongles that can connect to a TV and turn it into an interactive device. They’re available here for around half the price of a Kindle Fire. Of course if the village already has smart TVs, that they could be used to provide everything that printed media can and more.
Oh, I had forgotten about that! Thanks, Barry, for the idea. I will study it further.
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You’d probably have more luck getting them to make online info an OPTION for residents. Considering the age group in a retirement community and the fact that most of them didn’t work in IT, as you did, many if your neighbors would not be happy if this were forced on them. Ten or 20 years from now it would be a different story.
Thanks for the thoughts, Jackie. Yes, I face the fact that many older people resist change at an adamant level. They seem to think that having to learn new things is a curse instead of an opportunity to improve. That is the hardest parts of retirement community living for me. It is a fact that new challenges improve mental acuity at any age, but is especially beneficial for seniors. I have seen studies, and confirm it personally, that about 50% of seniors have cell phones, and 35% use tablets daily, so resistance to change is not universal.
Making the change to electronic media optional is a possibility, but…