Having had the occasion to visit a nursing home recently where the wife of a deceased friend was recuperating I came to realise how long the day must be for the elderly in residential homes.
Many of those internees do the crossword in the daily newspaper but when that is done what next?
This triggered a thought. How could one stop those brains from falling asleep through tedium?
These are people with thousands of years of accumulated banks of knowledge which are now being allowed to wither on the vine.
I am not getting any younger myself. At no time in my existence have I been more intellectually stimulated. The driver for all of this is the iPad.
This highly portable reservoir of infinite information has become an appendage capable of reproduction at any given moment.
Facts, figures, profiles, dictionaries are all available with one tap.
I read recently that most of our learning is done in the first twenty years of our lives. That thinking is old hat.
My vocabulary, my familiarity with areas of life foreign to me up until now, contrary perspectives are all accessible to my brain, regardless of their whereabouts on this earth and are growing by the hour.
Practically all the images of Mars which I have seen, I saw on the iPad.
Where today’s technology scores is its accessibility and portability. Today we can run our businesses from wherever we are.
Who knows I am in America, skiing or wherever when I file copy?
Some of you will say “what has this got to do with me?”
It has everything got to do with you, particularly if you or your parents are growing old and are becoming less mobile.
I recommend that Department of Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland provides residents of all nursing homes with iPads.
I would be delighted to visit some of those homes to teach, however modest my capacity is, those residents, on how to use the iPad.
Think how stimulating access to this technology would be for your mum or dad forced to sit around all day long.