Elderly Roped In ICT Lessons

THE elderly should be trained in ICTs to benefit from e-Health facilities that are key in modern day consultations, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) Director-General Gift Machengete says.

Speaking the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day commemorations held at the weekend in Murombedzi, Machengete said ICTs brought the ease of doing things and convenience.

“Imagine a farmer simply having to order implements online or requesting a tractor to till their land online.

“Imagine the elderly participating in zoom meetings and webinars where they can learn about their health – issues like prostrate cancer that mostly affects men who are advanced in age, issues of mental health that also affects the elderly among other issues.

“Such possibilities would give older persons some peace of mind and some comfort, hence, promoting Healthy Ageing.

“Taking their health to begin with, imagine the possibilities brought about by e-health.

“Older person consulting health care practitioners online and not needing to travel to a health care facility.

“Older persons having drugs delivered to their door steps,” he said.

“Imagine the possibilities of online shopping, should older persons need groceries or clothing items.

Machengete said as Potraz, they were cognisant of the need to train the elderly in ICTs and involve them in ICT programs.

“The Authority in this regard, has been training digital literacy skills to older persons at the various Community Information Centres (CICs) countrywide.

“However, we appreciate that not much effort was being made on this front and going forward, POTRAZ shall be providing connectivity and donating computers and other ICT equipment to Old People’s Homes and to the elderly in the communities.

“These donations would be followed up with training in ICTs to ensure older persons fully benefit from digital technologies and age well with the help of ICTs,” he said.

“Looking at it more closely we find that elders now generally humble themselves before young people.

“This is because young people are now more powerful and influential than older persons due to their advanced knowledge in ICTs. This has created a social disorder where older persons are the ones having to rely on young persons for guidance and advice when it is supposed to be the other way around.”

He said the scenario was disturbing and was one of the negatives brought about by ICTs.

He said ensuring older persons were well conversant in ICTs as the youngsters was one solution to this problem.

He urged young people to be respectful of their elders and maintain the principles of Hunhu/Ubuntu.

“While you think you will find all answers on Google, Google does not teach you wisdom, Google does not teach you life, Google does not teach you ethics, Google does not teach you morals. This you get from your elders,” he said.

This year’s World Telecommunications and Information Society Day Commemorations that is Digital Technologies for Older Persons and Healthy Ageing.” NewsHawks

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