Ageism Advancement

Advancement Or Ageism?

A number of “new technology” situations recently have me wondering. What is the purpose of newfangled shit? Advancement of ageism?

You Tell Me – Advancement Or Ageism?

A number of years ago, I took my mom to an orthopedist office for a broken ankle. There were five staff people behind the counter. My mom had to pick up one of about five iPads and figure out how to register and fill out an extensive medical history.

I get it. An electronic record created by the patient saves money and time. In most cases. But honestly, my mom had no idea how to use basic navigation buttons on a tablet. Not to mention the font on some of their questionnaire pages was hard for me to read. It was sad to have my mom have to tell me about all the drugs she was currently taking so that I could help register her for an appointment.

After all was said and done, the orthopedist looked at her x-rays and leg less than five minutes. Reviewed x-rays taken by an urgent center we had brought her to first. The orthopedist confirmed it was broken (which we knew). And recommended that she wear the inflatable cast that the urgent center had given her for 6 weeks minimum. My mom got to ask one question before she was dismissed. For that, she paid $1,300.

Laundromat Ageism…Really?!?

Fast-forward to last week. My friend has been told he needs to start using automated laundry machines in the laundry room. It requires him to set up an account. Add money to a “card” account. And set up a 7-digit pin that he has to enter anytime he wants to use a washer or dryer. The on-line registration process requires that he get a text on his phone to get a verification number.

Smart-Phone Required?

Finally, many of you know that Thaddeus doesn’t carry a smart-phone. He has no need for one and just doesn’t want one. Parking his car in our own home town is not an easy task without it. It’s possible, but they make it incredibly difficult.

I get it. Encouraging oldsters to advance in technology is probably a good thing. But give them a bit more a bridge to get there maybe?

What kind of ageism have you experienced in technology?

Personal Experience

Finally…I went to Quest Labs last week to have some blood drawn for a regular blood test. I HATE Quest Labs.

One surly phlebotomist is staffing the entire office.  I am required to register (I made an appointment) via the e-tablet on their front counter. With no assistance from the surly phlebotomist. I had to have the e-tablet read a QR code on my iPhone to register for my appointment. Yeah, real intuitive. I’m called 10 minutes late for my appointment time and ask the phlebotomist if she’s often left to work the entire office by herself.  She told me she didn’t know. She had literally been called an hour before the office opened to come here to “temp” in this office since the regular phlebotomist called in sick. No wonder she was surly.

I got this for my troubles.

Hematoma 06-23-21 01

Shitty technology. Not a great phlebotomist either.

Current Knitting

I’m on the last round of knitting hats for the craft show.

Sayi Hat Multi 06-23-21 01

Sayi Hat Multi 06-23-21 02

I finished the two hats in the bright colorway and started on the second hat in the turquoise/pink colorway.

Just two more hats in this colorway.

Sayi Hat Multi 06-23-21 03

I’ll end up with 10 hats in a short period of time. With enough yarn to make 10 more hats.

16 comments on “Advancement Or Ageism?

  1. Perhaps another point of view:
    The generation ahead of mine pushed a capitalist system that encouraged profit at all cost. Each of these technological advancements allows for less employees to be hired and paid.
    You don’t need someone to file physical patient records.
    You don’t need someone to manually transcribe patient records into a database.
    You don’t need to pay someone to schedule appointments.
    You don’t need to pay meter maids or someone to collect change from parking meters. Same for laundromats.
    You don’t need someone to count and deposit all those coins.
    Bank tellers? Gone, too.
    Our medical system is being driven solely to make profit for insurance companies. The more processes, the more you can be billed. But less customer service people are required to support those processes.
    So the generation ahead of mine – the CEOs and CFOs and those who got pensions and had enough money to invest – initiated and benefited from all those changes.
    And then they retired and there were no jobs to left behind them.
    No offense, but since you made this about age, it sounds like Baby Boomers are having to lay in the bed they made.
    And I’m going to totally acknowledge how frustrating it is to have challenges placed in front of you that you didn’t expect. That there used to be a system that seemed to work. And technology is confusing, and frankly set up to primarily work for the brains of the generations AFTER mine. (They have been taught to intuitively use technology while Boomers were taught that they had to know how to use something before they touched it or it would break. But I digress.)
    But before decrying technology, look at the system and priorities and ask who put them in place.
    I love you. You make me want to be a better person.

    1. Nope! Baby boomers may lay down the law, or lay bricks, or even lay an egg, but they LIE in the bed they made. Good Grammar strengthens your argument.

  2. Perhaps some places need to be reminded that accessibility is to be guaranteed, especially for medical patients. People don’t need an excuse to say they don’t want or cannot use a tablet, a phone or whatever.

  3. I think I’ve found a bottom line. Almost every complaint we hear these days is about what some (other) human being has done to complicate matters. Evolving is great, don’t get me wrong. But have we gone beyond our ability to understand and live with the new “improvements?”
    Happy knitting – it keeps us a little more in check!

  4. OMG…signing up for COVID vaccines! My 80+ year old dad really had a hard time getting an appointment, because all the signups were online or text-based. That said, I tend to agree with the previous commenter that each generation faces its own challenges. My generation, GenX, may make a good living but still struggle to support a family bc of policy decisions made by previous generations; the generation behind me may not even have good jobs available and struggles to afford homeownership, the traditional path to American wealth. (And as I regularly point out, the generations in front of me, Boomers and older, continue to dominate politics at the federal level. My own generation is too small numerically to move the needle on most issues and the generations behind me are denied opportunity bc the McConnells of the world refuse to retire and make room for them.)

    Thanks for another thought-provoking post!

  5. I’m working on a design for new knitting needles. They won’t let you knit unless you validate the fingerprint first, then you get a code to your phone that you hold up to the knitting needles to activate them. It’s to verify the safety of your knitting. The instruction book is 177 pages long, but that’s only because it’s translated to every language spoken throughout the world. Except the language you speak. For that, you just have to go online, register, sign in, enter the correct password*, and you’ll get the instructions in the language you best understand. Our translator has successfully completed the third day of his “English as a Second Language” course so it should all be fine. You can of course bypass all of this simply by downloading the 388-page developers manual and following the instructions that begin on page 18 and continue through page 221. And of course electronically sign off on various ‘hold-harmless’ documents, agreements to bypass the security features, Affidavit of Knitting Skills (signed and notarized), as well as our short 33-page customer questionnaire so we can learn how to better piss you off. MAKA – Make America Knit Again!
    * security of your needles requires that you use a 24-character unique password that holds absolutely no meaning, and therefore no way to remember it, but your safety and protection is paramount to us. You’ll also be required to change the password weekly to ensure the integrity of our cybersecurity efforts. Please note that fonts with a serif will not work, nor will passwords containing the letter ‘e’ but only on odd-numbered days of the month or during a Harvest Moon. You’re gonna LOVE these needles and wonder how you did without them!!!!!!!!

    1. OMG I am still laughing, you forgot to leave the website 🤣
      I definitely need these knitting needles as knitting needles theft has risen 200% since the pandemic.

  6. Not all elderly people have trouble keeping up with technological advances, although more of us no doubt experience this than people in other age groups. The bottom line is that requiring all customers to use whatever electronic device(s) a provider has decided to use discriminates against anyone, regardless of age, who for whatever reason is unable to use the device with ease, or at all.

    To put it more succinctly, I agree with Louise.

  7. If we live long enough, things that once were easy for us will become harder. At one point, my mother decided that her toaster oven was broken, because she had lost the ability to perform two-step sequences (press “toast” and then “start”).

    I think about this a lot, as more and more of my life is online. I have passwords for everything. What happens when recall of passwords gets harder? I am transitioning to 1Password, but that still involves a multi-stage process and a complex password to recall every time I need to access my vault. At what point will I be unable to pay my bills, because the complexities of doing so exceed my cognitive abilities?

  8. I went to visit an elderly lady recently who is in a large rest home. I had to complete pages and pages of details on an iPad before I it would print me a label to get through the doors. I struggled, and I am fairly tech savvy, still working with computers daily, so how would and elderly person who isn’t tech savvy cope when they wished to visit their friends in a rest home.

  9. I agree with all of this completely. It drives me nuts.
    I’m 83 and pretty computer savvy but why do “they” always change things? I learn it once — isn’t that enough?
    I don’t use a cell phone — someday I’ll end up stranded somewhere and have to find a kind stranger to help me. That will be interesting.
    I’ve decided to just die — I don’t want to be part of this system.
    Plus now I have a tremor! Makes life very interesting trying to use tiny buttons.
    Do not go gentle into this good night — or some such!

  10. Well you struck a nerve with this post. I like to think I am clever enough to figure things out, but ‘if it aint broke don’t fix it’ folks. No particular order, but I’ll start with the doctors and the clinic when I need to have blood drawn…yes sign in at a computer kiosk – okay I guess I can handle that one, next tollbooths on our tollroads are going away from ‘real people’ to scanning a chip you have to get for your car, or they send you a bill later…okay we can use other roads, resturants that use QAR(?) codes…may I see a real menu and a person please, sending things to my phone…ah, just tell me, please. I’ve become a Luddite. sigh and my husband is worse, I’m the ‘techie’ one in the family.

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