Who doesn’t love the Internet? It’s ability to connect people and offer a way of communication among family and friends or even strangers is invaluable. Now, more than ever people are taking advantage of social networks such as Facebook and connecting with each other through games like Candy Crush, FarmVille, and many other social games that provide hours of entertainment and stimulation, but more importantly the friendships they are creating and nurturing promote emotional stimulation beyond measure. The technology gap is shrinking among generations. Grandma on Facebook is a new reality in today’s world and rightly so as it’s the elderly that can benefit from having Internet access the most.
Quick Facts on Elderly & Internet Usage
- As of April 2012, 53% of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the Internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.
- As of February 2012, one third (34%) of Internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day. By comparison, email use continues to be the bedrock of online communications for seniors. As of August 2011, 86% of Internet users age 65 and older use email, with 48% doing so on a typical day.
- Looking at gadget ownership, we find that a growing share of seniors own a cell phone. Some 69% of adults ages 65 and older report that they have a mobile phone, up from 57% in May 2010. Even among those currently age 76 and older, 56% report owning a cell phone of some kind, up from 47% of this generation in 2010.
Certain groups of our population, specifically the elderly and disabled or those suffering from a debilitating illness, are often times alienated by the limitations they are faced with in daily life that prevent them from accomplishing life goals or maintaining relationships. With more and more of our elderly online and having access to the Internet and all of its fruits, they are provided with a link to the outside world and the possibilities of stimulation, entertainment, and communication are endless. Internet games, especially those that connect with other players, are promoting health benefits that keep their minds active and uplift morale. They can easily connect with family in real time without the dredges of distance or travel. They can join live Skype sessions with loved ones or ogle over the latest pictures of their grandchildren without having to wait for snail mail or even the burden of checking email. With the Mesh Networks HomeNet™ Router technology, it’s easier than ever to facilitate focused Internet needs for the elderly and maintain those needs through a platform that is both user friendly and has bandwidth prioritizing capabilities- so that Grandma’s Skype session with her grandchildren affords the most bandwidth possible and can be later throttled during her evening Chinese soap opera viewing. The HomeNet™ Router’s Streaming Optimizer and Scheduling features allow you to control specific Internet needs at certain times of the day or when needed. There is also the ability to create specific device profiles and tailor the device’s bandwidth needs per profile.
The power of the Internet and specifically Facebook became evident to me when my own mother was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. As she found herself in constant states of illness and recovery her homebound status could’ve been a lot worse if not for the Internet and Facebook. Early on, the Internet became one of the most helpful tools to learn more about her disease, treatment and recovery. The knowledge she gained from educating herself on the subject matter was one of the best weapons she had at selecting her health care team and assisting them by being an advocate of her own health. She leaned on her strong network of Facebook friends to guide her through her journey with breast cancer. Of course she had the support of real life family and friends, but social media provided her with a whole new resource of rekindled friendships and new ones created through meeting fellow social gamers online, as well as the perfect opportunity to connect with existing family and friends that she was able to reach out to and help her get through the struggles of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and the aftermath of life after cancer. She was also able to touch so many people who otherwise would not have known of her diagnosis and whose support would never have been given. She had her own personal avenue to vent frustrations and exalt praises, and a means to tell others about her experience and raise awareness of a terrible disease. Nowadays, I call her the “Queen of Facebook” a celebrity in her own right (or at least one on the Internet.) Everyone loves Linda, she gets more “Likes” and comments than anyone I know- they remember her journey, they respect her survivorship, they admire her faith and unwavering positivity that life is still good. Life is also more enriching because of the Internet’s ability to connect with people throughout the world.
The HomeNet™ Router is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of the elderly and those with specific needs that may find themselves in difficult situations where they would greatly benefit from having Internet connectivity and the ability to control and optimize their settings to their lifestyle- whether it’s for the ability to connect with friends and family in the United States or abroad, play games that stimulate their mental activity, or watch hard to find soap operas and movies in Cantonese like Marilyn one of our HomeNet™ Router users whose testimonial you can read below. Technology can often times be a hindrance, but we believe the HomeNet™ Router offers a user-friendly Internet experience with completely customizable features per client. We at Mesh Networks are thrilled that our HomeNet™ Router product can help assist the needs of our customers, improve their Internet connectivity issues, and ultimately make their lives better.
From a real HomeNet™ Router user:
My mother-in-law is 89 years young. She is Chinese and speaks a dialect of Cantonese known as Taishanese from the southern province Taishan from where she was born. Marilyn (her American name) speaks some English and lives with my wife and me in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. As she gets older, she doesn’t get out as much anymore. Her access to the outside world is restricted to a weekday afternoon in Chinatown and her Chinese Church on Sundays. She enjoys gardening, Tai Che exercising, reading Chinese newspapers and watching her Chinese soap operas and movies. Unfortunately in Houston most of the TV programming is in Mandarin, a dialect spoken in the northern provinces of China and which Marilyn does not understand.
About a year ago, we bought Marilyn a computer to play games such as mahjong and taught her to use Google Chrome (in Chinese), so she could watch Chinese programming in her dialect. She currently spends three hours a day on the computer and very little time watching regular TV, which is difficult for her to understand. With the help of the HomeNet™ Router from Mesh Networks, we have been able to have the bandwidth necessary to enable Marilyn to watch her Taishan programming from Hong Kong via the internet. She can watch many broadcasts in high-definition streaming video without any of that annoying buffering one typically gets while watching internet movies. The HomeNet™ Router has enabled her to have a “window to the world”.
Recently she has been taking computer classes in Chinatown so that she can learn to use her computer to play live mahjong games with her friends, using the computer webcam. The HomeNet™ Router will also help make this a good experience for her and her “remote” friends. I would never have thought that a 90-pound, almost 90 year old, Chinese lady would have learned the computer so quickly, but with the help of The HomeNet™ Router, her computer is fun and a practical tool for her.
Be sure to visit farmvillefreak.com to read more about Internet gaming.