Forgotten seniors pick up technology
Channel NewsAsia’s three-part series gets three groups of seniors to create a viral video, do Instagram and create a VR game.
Think seniors can’t handle IT, think again! In Channel NewsAsia’s (CNA) latest three-part series called #DontForgetMe, three groups of seniors are introduced to the trendiest technology of our day – Facebook, Instagram and virtual reality – with some amazing results.
In the first episode to be aired on Monday, August 6, at 8pm, eight “enthusiastic” residents (the oldest, Anandam Tanjamal, being 90 years old) from St John’s Home take up the challenge to make a viral video to help raise funds to save their nursing home. The nursing home is tasked to raise US$3.75 million within two years for a new building.
Out of the eight residents, seven don’t even own a smartphone and have never used one. CNA gave them smartphones and engaged popular viral video makers SGAG to take them through an Internet bootcamp – teaching them how to access the phone camera and do a selfie video, and setting up a Facebook page.
Though it was not an easy process, the seniors persevered and made it happen. Within a week of posting the video, the seniors managed to raise S$10,700 and within a month, the figure went up to S$36,000. Not bad for a bunch of amateurs! Let’s hope we see them on SGAG! Having a smartphone has introduced them to a whole new world with one resident even checking out YouTube regularly! Episode 1 can be watched online at – www.channelnewsasia.com/news/video-on-demand/dont-forget-me.
Other episodes continue to show seniors not shying away from IT. In Episode 2, which will air on Monday, August 13 at 8pm, the Yusman twins – Singapore’s Instagram photographers – teach lonely retirees how to Instagram a legacy of a life well-lived. It features a grandfather who was once the ‘fastest man in Singapore’, a forever wallflower, a cat lady and a straight-talking grandmother.
In the final episode to be aired on Monday, August 20, four IMDA Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors (SIWA) go beyond the smartphone and into virtual reality (VR). They team up with tech-savvy creator, DUDE SG, to craft a VR experience called Victor’s Maze that will benefit dementia patients or seniors with mobility issues.