Using Technology to Minister to the Elderly

iPad 2

I just got off the phone with one of the most special women I know. She and her husband have been serving the Lord for over 50 years together and both are an inspiration to me. Unfortunately Joan has been having some trouble over the past several months with her health, and it has been over a month since she has been able to make it out to our chapel.  We have missed her and I know she has deeply missed us and the fellowship of the saints.  I could hear it in her voice today as she told me how tough it has been to be “out of the loop” and not see everyone.  Thankfully she is feeling a bit better and some progress has been made. We pray that the Lord will have her healthy enough to come out soon.

What struck me as I talked to her was how thankful and happy she was that she had been given an iPad at Christmas. This dear elderly saint who had always been eager to learn technology but found it difficult was embracing this new technology and loving it.  She was able to keep in touch with her family (most do not live close by) and share pictures and emails with them on a regular basis. She was also able to do this comfortably while being relaxed and not have to bother with sitting at a desk or even sitting up with a laptop.  In my heart I said, “Way to go Joan!” I was proud of her as strange as that may sound.

It got me thinking. Every day I find out more ways that technology has enhanced people’s lives.  As I look out my office window into the local mall where it’s located, I see dozens of teenagers setting up computer stations getting ready for their annual tech fair. It’s so obvious that these teenagers live and breathe technology. They will be opened up to many opportunities in their lifetime that we didn’t have as students in school. But what about the elderly, sick and shut-ins? Many of them struggle with their health, loneliness, depression and anxiety. Many feel isolated and distant from the ones they love. How can we as a church that has been commanded to take care of the widows, poor, sick and downcast use technology to minister to them? It seems that more opportunities are opening up.

 


Here are a few ideas to serve the elderly and help them enrich their lives



 

1. Help them share more with their families.  Take a tablet, laptop or phone with you (if they don’t have one) and help them write an email or send a photo.

2. If they have difficulty reading, set up their computer (if they have one) to make it easy for them to listen to the Bible or online messages. Create easy links on their desktop and show them how to access the audio files.

3. Connect from the local Church. One of the most memorable times last year was when one of our elders was kept home because of surgery. He missed several months. One Lord’s day right in the opening of our Family Bible Hour the song leader got his cell phone out and called him up. When the brother answered he said that the whole chapel was here missing him and wanted to give him a special gift. Then we all sang his favorite song!  There were not too many dry eyes and the encouragement it gave our dear brother was more than could be expressed in words.

4. Take the local church with you. For those who have been shut in for a while it would be so encouraging if the saints video recorded special greetings and then have someone take it with them to show.  Can you imagine the encouragement that would be?

I am sure there are many more ways to use technology to minister to the elderly. Let’s use them to the fullest and lift up these dear saints.

2 comments

  1. Donald Henderson

    these are some great ideas

    • Thanks Don… I agree, Crawford shares some very helpful ideas. It is so important that we remember the elderly and care for them with the Lord of the Lord Jesus.