The original article: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/techno ... eanrm.htmlSocial connections are also expanding for seniors who have their own version of Facebook - Silverpeers.com, the idea of 68-year-old Queenslander Hans Hagen.
The former export manager built the site and funds it on a pension as a way of repaying elderly volunteers who nursed him back to health after he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer at 32 and given months to live.
Mr Hagen began paying the favour forward by running "cyber diversional therapy" at a nursing home, where he introduced residents to the computer, including star pupil "Elsie", an 83-year-old captain's widow keen to write about her travels on board an ocean liner.
The budding author was so awestruck by the power of the PC that she began monopolising the only staff computer.
Mr Hagen says: "The matron called me one night and said, 'You have to tell Elsie she can't do this. She's been at the computer for five hours and she won't let the staff back on."'
Silverpeers, now three years old, is getting 12,000 hits a week, with the forum and its 70 brain games the most popular sections.
Mr Hagen believes in the "use it or lose it" approach to aging and worries that too many seniors become frustrated and disillusioned with life because they stop thinking, writing, and talking. The next site upgrade for Silverpeers encourages them to plug in again - through blogging.
For seniors battling serious illness, the web has been a window to the world. After a heart condition prevented one retiree from fulfilling his dream of visiting Europe, he spiralled into depression.
It was only after his children lent him a computer and pointed him to virtual tours of the Louvre and Sistine Chapel that his black mood lifted. He has refused to return the computer, determined to keep seeing the world a click at a time.
So it seems old dogs are learning new tricks, which puts a spanner in the works for Christmas. Forget the hand-painted teapot - Nana wants a sexy new laptop to lug to afternoon tea at the bowls club, and coo over Frank Sinatra on YouTube.
Please note, no alcohol until after midday!
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