/ Technology

Your view: can you be too old for new tech?

Paper speech bubble men

There was a debate on Which? Conversation that recently piqued my interest. It was on whether new gadgets, like smartwatches, were of interest to people over the age of 60…

I’ve always wondered whether in retirement I’d be as interested in new technology. Would I still have my love for video games, for example?

Maybe I still would, but perhaps I’d long for a good ‘old fashioned’ physical controller, rather than playing games in a holographic virtual world as the latest craze might be in the year 2060.

I’d like to think I’d still be open to new technology and new experiences in 2060, but who knows?

No interest in the latest ‘gimmicks’?

And now I’m going to have to take a step back, for fear of sounding patronising to those already in retirement. The reason I bring up these musings is because of a comment made on a Conversation by tech researcher Mike Plant in favour of smartwatches. Joe commented:

‘I sometimes wish Which? would employ their researchers a bit nearer the average age of the Which? reader, late 40s, 50s? As you can see 62% of us have no interest whatsoever in the latest techno gimmick that in reality does nothing to enhance your life whatsoever. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. Maybe it does add something exciting to the life of someone in their 20s and 30s. However, anything that records, tracks, reports, monitors my every movement fills me with horror.

‘Maybe some kind of wearable technology will become essential in your everyday life but it will not in mine.’

BobC loves his FitBit

I’m with Joe on his disdain for smartwatches, as argued in a post earlier this week. However, I was pleased to see the following comments in response. BobC said:

‘I’ve reached the ripe ‘old’ age of 67. I’ve recently worked my way through three different smartphones before settling on a Galaxy Note 3. I also have a Fitbit that I use in conjunction with MyFitnessPal – it’s great and has helped me lose some weight and get enough exercise.

‘Can people please accept that you can be over 60 and have a fascination with and skill in using technology!’

Agatha agreed:

‘I just want to support BobC and others like us. I am 56 and also love new technology, it’s creative, fun and useful so I for one welcome any info on what’s new and available out there!’

So, for fear of posing a patronising question, do you think you can be too old to have a passion for new tech?

Comments
Shireen Shuster says:
11 April 2014

At the age of 60 I had an idea for an online business – an educational site with non-patronising content for older learners with literacy problems such as dyslexia. I used my retirement lump sum to finance it and the site was launched in 2002. I wrote all the content, planned the web layout, links etc but got tecchies to do the actual programming.

I ran it myself for several years but it outgrew me (it’s now used in over 60 countries) so I teamed up with the original tecchie guys and we now run it together. At age 72 I’m still very much involved. I like to think I’m in touch with modern media – but also that my maturity helps keep my younger colleagues feet on the ground! This is especially so when it comes to making the site user-friendly for both busy teachers and individuals who may have problems reading English.

We oldies still have something to contribute, as well as something to gain from new technology.

I think that’s fantastic. It looks like life will become impossible unless we stay connected until our dying days while all the time the technology and applications keep advancing at an accelerating rate. Anything that helps people cope with that and even enrich their lives is wonderful.

I’m 76 and love new technology. Most of it makes my life easier. My I Pad is diary, addrress book, stores multiple books and games, allows me to watch Ted, the bbc etc, is one of my e-mail and browser facilities, . . I got my first computer in 1974 and haven’t looked back. My wi fi all in one printer/photocopier/scanner is invaluable.
When you are too old to learn it’s time to give up. . .

Anita W says:
11 April 2014

I have just finished doing 8 years helping Silver Surfers (helping those of a certain age to use computers) so I obviously enjoy technology to a certain point but now that I am 72 & in a one bedroomed flat I cannot see a need to buy an Ipad as my computer is permanently switched on through the day & evening.I choose not to have a Smart phone because being retired I am home for much of the time & all my calls from my landline are free 24/7 & because I am not on a contract with my mobile calls are very expensive. Hearing diminishes as we get older & trying to hear what someone is saying as I walk down my busy high street fills me with dread so even my mobile is seldom switched on!It is simply my SOS. My eyesight also affects my choice of technology. I may well buy an Ipad in the future but as yet cannot think of a reason why I should. Would their be a benefit? Theft of such devices becomes more of a worry once you get to look like a pensioner.My Imac continues to be my best technological friend. There were no technological devices when my age group went to school & I think we have done really well to keep in touch.

Two comments.
I) I am somewhat older than you with some relatives of my own age and some older than me. Their habit of leaving their mobile turned off can be annoying at times if there is a significant need to get in touch with them. Do you have no friends or relatives that might want to send you an SOS (eg have fallen, or locked themselves out of the house and you have one of their spare keys)? You do not need a smartphone for this, and I know from experience that their screens tend to be more difficult to read than those of a simple mobile, particularly outside in sunny weather.
2) When helping other silver surfers, I am sure that you sometimes used your own computer (or a another computer anyway) to help find information to solve their problems. Therefore, as you say yours is nowadays on from dawn until dusk, you need to think what you would do if it had a serious failure, particularly if you were unwell and wished to shop on-line or e-mail friends. Do you have contacts who could come quickly to your aid if the problem was beyond your abilities at the time to solve it? If not, a second system, be it a cheap laptop or Ipad equivalent could be a boon.

Finally, I have to agree that we get slower to learn new ‘tricks’ as we get older, and therefore I think we need to keep in touch with technology we might expect to need in the future. As Wavechange and I have discussed earlier, I believe there is a need for better instruction manuals for those who are not always familiar with the latest technology eg on how to input information into various smartphone applications, while Microsoft appears to be having to improve Windows 8, now 8.1 (and with an update 1 being distributed) to make it more user friendly for those of using desktop or non touch laptop computers.

Anita W says:
12 April 2014

Thank you bsg You are so right, others have occasionally tried to contact me but to no avail. Again you are right my Imac might break down leaving me out of touch with the world. However I do know how to access my Webmail (unlike many of my friends) because I can remember the password & so can pop to the Library or to a friends house to access mail. I am a woman living on my own so even something as simple as a new cooker or new DVD recorder can seem daunting but I get there eventually. Each to their own I guess? What about paying at the pump for petrol, I do it but it still scares me & I have to make sure I have my tweezers with me to extract the deeply embedded debit card! I think we can all learn from each other but take things at your own speed. The memory is a huge failing as each time I do something I have not done for a while I forget the method & so notes are constantly being made.

Anita – I can relate to the problem of failing eyesight. Technology has helped me avoid the need to use reading glasses for the past few years. Using a satnav has overcome the problem of trying to read the tiny text at the back of a road atlas. Tablets make it very easy to enlarge small text, though the trackpad on my Apple laptop is even better for this. When I recently moved from a simple mobile phone to a smartphone, I assumed that reading glasses would be a necessary accessory. Fortunately, increasing the brightness to maximum temporarily makes even the smallest text easy for me to read. I feel that many gadgets are a bit pointless but technology can be offer some real benefits that are unlikely to be mentioned by gadget freaks.

Apart from cost, why seek to avoid reading glasses? I agree that I have separate bifocal glasses for the use of a desktop computer with a screen 1 metre away, and for using for normal life, but I would not try to avoid their use indoors. Outside in the rain is a different matter.

The only time I routinely wear glasses is when reading small print in artificial light or doing intricate work. I will probably need to use them regularly in a year or two but for the present I cannot be bothered to carry them around.

Bertie says:
11 April 2014

As an octogenarian it takes me quite a time to get used to a new gadget and/or operating system. With the best will in the world, my family members keep trying to drag me further into the 21st century, but most new activities require quite a substantial change to my life-style, and so I often wish they didn’t have such touching faith in my ability to learn new tricks. Texts on my mobile phone and occasional chats on the land-line allow me to keep in touch with them all: I really don’t enjoy seeing their distorted faces on Skype or whatever. And radio/TV are enough – I seldom so much regret missing a programme that I want to download it. A simple life is all I ask…

Uppy says:
11 April 2014

To late never.im 82 a bit slow on picking up all the great thing u can do on the web but I get help fron my 6 month old grand son !!!!!!.but I’m nearly as fast as him.I have an oldish computer an I phoe and an I pad.My wife told me to get a hobby but think she now regrets this.Well all I can say to any one get on the web it’s a mine of informantion and opens a new world for every one all the best uppy

I am now 53 and have a technical mind and have computers from the BBC computer (any one remember those?) to a fairly powerful windows 7 laptop in my life. I’m ok with technology. I have work with people same age or younger struggle with it and ask me to help. Most of the time it’s knowing what the terminology means eg cursor, font and word wrap, what they mean and where to find them. As time goes on, the technological industry introduce more and more technology into our lives and sell us devices that do more than we will ever actually use. I have a friend who is 20 years older than me, who turns on a new smart phone and says “where is the I’d like to send an email button” he doesn’t know that he has to switch on the internet and create an email address before he can use it. I set it up for him, but later on he has accidently deleted the email icon from the front screen. He always wants to learn and does learn, but when changes are made accidently or through updates it’s another learning process of how to get back the original setup. Then it becomes too much to remember for him.

“BBC computer ” I can remember “cracking” Elite to that I could load it from a hard drive rather the silly cassette it came on. Can’t remember the interrupt that I had to intercept to crack it though, but I could work it out, as I think I still have the book. Remember chuckie egg ?

I was given mine by ICI as a leaving present having finished my industrial year. I can also remember watching the first ever untethered space walk on the TV that was my monitor in the office I had. Ah those were the days.

I too remember Elite. One of my friends completely cracked it including all the anti-copy inbuilt encrypted code and obfuscation. It took him 3 weeks and in the very last bit he found the message “Does your mother know you do this?”

I remember Elite and other games for the BBC. I never had much time for the games but hacking them and finding messages left by the authors was great fun. I wrote numerous scientific reports and a few papers using Merlin Scribe, a word processor on sideways RAM. It’s still in the loft, alongside the Apple Classic 2 all-in-one computer that I bought to replace the BBC B in 1992.

Adrian Hartshorn says:
11 April 2014

I am 71yo and a year ago learnt HTML coding. I make FOC websites for local community groups.
rastrickbiglocal.co.uk is one in my portfolio.

That goes to show your never to old to learn.

I am 75 and have a Desktop, and “Dearly Beloved” has a lap top. Six months ago I bought a smartphone a Samsung S3 and find it really useful as you have everything to hand if you need it. We bank on line and have a banking app on the phone and this enabled me to help out desperate Grandson when his parents land line went down and he didn’t know his Fathers office No. I have the mobile version of my genealogy program which passes time when one is stuck in a hospital or Dr’s waiting room,and several other similar type of apps.Most of our friends have phones which text and all have computers. As others have said I don’t use facebook or twitter because I don’t trust them

I’m 70 and my children bought me a new Google Nexus 5 for Christmas to replace my old smart phone and I’m loving it. I build my own PCs from scratch and have recently downloaded a new video game which I play. My smart TV is connected to the FTTP broadband (nearly 1Gb/sec) and I’m thinking of installing a streaming server for video and music. So don’t tell me that I’m too old for new tech!

My wife is addicted to messaging our daughters on her iPad.

On the other hand I am wary of the likes of Facebook because you can expose too much personal data if you are not careful.

As for Cloud Computing, I don’t trust anyone but me with my documents. Where exactly are they stored? How protected are they against determined hackers? What is to prevent some government agency deciding it has a pressing need to go trawling through the servers? What happens if the company storing the data goes bust? Call me paranoid, but when the data is on my hard drives and backed up by me I know exactly where it is and who has access.

Jolyon Kay says:
12 April 2014

Of course some of us may be too old. I ATM 84 and I am having a terrible time ‘upgrading’ to Windows 8. I still cherish my Nokia that acts as a mobile telephone AND NOTHING ELSE. All these ‘ improvements’ should be optional
.

Of course it depends on what you are trying to install Windows 8.1. If it’s a touch screen device then I suppose it’s the way to go, you just have to bite the bullet. However, if it’s an ordinary laptop or desktop Windows 8 may be a step too far, have you though of Windows 7? Whilst theoretically obsolete it is still widely available and a much easier upgrade from XP with regards to the user interface.

The problem with moving to Windows 7 is that we don’t know when Microsoft will withdraw support for that. 🙁

One of the reasons why XP support has been available for so long is that Windows Vista was very poor, and it is disappointing that users were not given a free copy of Windows 7.

One of my friends who needed to replace his computer was dreading switching from XP to Windows 8, but the transition proved much easier than expected and he is now a happy user.

If you know where to look you do 🙂

Windows 7 * Service Pack 1 January 13, 2015 January 14, 2020

I’ll post the link I’ve taken that from in my next response, I’d hate for the info to be delayed

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/lifecycle

All major software companies /products have lists of product lifecycles.

From bitter experience I have great sympathy over the problems encountered when first trying to use Windows 8.1, and Windows 8 was almost certainly worse. However Microsoft is in the process of releasing Update 1 to Windows 8.1 and, from the demonstrations I have seen, this should make the program much more familiar to those of us accustomed to Windows, 95, 98, XP, Vista or 7.
Unfortunately MS has found some bug in the Update 1 relating to particular computer systems and is apparently holding back on autumatic release via ‘Windows update’

William – Moving to Windows 7 gives full support to Jan 2015, whereas Windows 8 has full support for an extra three years.

Microsoft EOL dates for operating systems are all based around a fixed number of years after the next major OS is released or something like that.

I tried windows 8 and I hate it. So they could offer indefinite support and I still wouldn’t touch it. In fact I don’t think they could even pay me to use it. I prefer to be in control of what I’m doing rather than the OS thinking it knows what I want.

What Microsoft used to do was have 2 major teams working on things like operating systems, which is why Vista was nothing like XP as it was a different team> Windows 7 was probably based on XP as it was likely to have been that team, same reason 8 is a pigs ear, same team responsible for Vista. So I’m hoping 9 will be a huge improvement.

Since the days of DOS people have been complaining each time there is a new operating system. It is worth remembering that there were complaints about Windows XP when that arrived.

IMHO Microsoft mostly alternated their releases of Windows.
The early 3 series versions were mostly good as was 95, I think I skipped 98, but Me & 2000 were bad, XP good, Vista awful, 7 good and 8 looks like a dog if you don’t like the paradigm shift to touch screen and apps. Maybe 8.1 with its nod to the traditional desktop will be OK, but don’t hold your breath – stock up on copies of 7!

It makes sense to move to Win 8 or else you will again be presented with an unsupported Win 7 in a short time. I have seen quite a few comments on people downloading a free programme called Classic Shell to transform Win 8 into a Win XP like operating system. I’m pretty sure there is a Conversation somewhere on Which? on this very subject.

I’m sure a request on WhichTech Daily will result some helpful replies.
http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/

I think we all, regardless of age have varying degrees of ability when it come to technology. I’m looking forward to being retired (if it ever happens) so I have a clearer head, free from the stresses of work to learn more things.

Joel says:
12 April 2014

Microsoft has now stopped supporting XP and all they and Which suggest is buying a new computer / operating system. Fine if I wasn’t a pensioner (age is irrelevant), and how many older people, even those who’ve prepared for later life (financially and other issues) can suddenly dig up several hundred pounds?

And, when I was in employment, new system = training for it, and ‘IT support’ (ok, stop laughing) when when I didn’t understand. My ability to learn (comprehensively) deteriorates with age, and getting my head around new operating systems, especially when there’s no-one to demonstrate the ‘short cuts’ etc is not really a viable prospect.

It is irresponsible for high tech companies like Microsoft to stop supporting popular software simply because they need to make more money out of us going onward, upward, bigger, better. I only buy and use what I need so I just need a simple (er, like XP) operating system and a computer to handle word processing and use of email/internet. I do not get ‘downloads’, ‘upgrades’ etc and I’m not daft, I just don’t have the ability to deal with them. Our population is ageing and we need more than just commercial intent to survive. Am i alone in this?

The ‘Heartbleed’ crisis is baffling – how can I see in plain English whether I need to reset passwords. The present language and instructions are beyond comprehension.

Joel, there is a Conversation in Which Tech Daily about this, this link should take you to it.

http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/computing-helpdesk/heartbleed-bug-what-it-is-and-how-to-stay-safe/

Hope it is helpful.

Jim P says:
12 April 2014

Many old people, especially those living on their own do not have the support of the majority.
The young have their friends who are exploring the new gadgets and sharing their findings via school etc. Those working are today living in a technological environment with collegues and IT departments to help.
When you retire unless you have an offspring or tech savy friend nearby you are on your own. Classic is the ipad with virtually no instructions.
Therefore conclusion:- Retired people who use modern technology should be recognised as over coming greater hurdles than the younger generations.

You are not necessarily totally on your own although it probably depends on where you live. In my area AgeUK runs a monthly Computer Club in which all sorts of problems are raised with the tutor in addition to his providing presentations, with supporting paper summaries, on varied subjects relevant to computing. The average age of attendees at our small group is probably ‘over 75’, and the computing expertise very variable.
Also, our local libraries usually have computers available for public use although in my experience they are very slow compared with a home computer and I will be surprised if any use Windows 8.1.
But staff are sometimes have time to help if you have a problem.

The plethora of responses seems to me to show that ‘elderly’ people are very sensitive to this issue but that we’re just more discerning. We like to pick and choose our new technology rather than just following the trend. For instance at 71 I have been programming computers for more than 50 years and have had a computer or computer terminal on my desk every day for 40 years. While not a computer whizz kid, it is invaluable to me for searching for information and communication via e-mail, not to mention recording my finances, photographs etc. etc.. However, I have absolutely no interest in spreading my everyday views and activities to a wide range of people I don’t really know and find it incomprehensible that so many people need to walk about all the time with a mobile clamped to their ear. I have a mobile for emergencies but not a smartphone as I have problems with touchscreens due to limited tactile ability. I have various peripherals for my computer and find a satnav invaluable when driving round unknown/foreign towns and shall continue to pick and choose the new technology that suits me.

Richard, I completely agree with you. Tec for tec’s sake, grabbing the latest gadget (then selling it on eBay 6 months later) is a waste of time and money. But I think our generation has been round the block a few times and can tell the difference between good, useful tec and fads. I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but make very limited use of them, preferring to keep my everyday life to myself rather than broadcast to the world my every action. Email is a far better way of communicating with customers, suppliers, friends and family. You then know that the communication is restricted to the recipient, GCHQ and the NSA!

I think that we also can see through the hype of design over function. Why pay stupid money for an Apple product when you can get the same performance at half the price – apart from the iPad which is brilliant? Now that’s going to get me some negative ratings ;-}

Anita W says:
12 April 2014

I agree we ARE more discerning & choose to pick our technological devices with care. I hate the new trend of people walking around the streets & shops viewing the smartphone screen as they go & sometimes with a beaker of free coffee from Waitrose in their free hand. I sometimes use the buses & have had to listen to phone conversations throughout the 20 minute journey. On one occasion I listened to car insurance being bought & waited with bated breath for the card details to be given!

Recently, you might have seen me wandering round the streets near my daughter’s home with a smartphone in my hand. In that case, I was in a a ‘strange’ (to me) area and using a mapping app. with GPS to show me where I was at any moment. I have used the same facility when walking in the countryside, and an ability to download a new 1:25000 Ordnance Survey map on demand can be useful if there is a mobile signal. But, I agree that I have still not entirely fathomed why I can sometimes get the cursor to show my position from the GPS, and sometimes cannot!

Dick Ayre says:
12 April 2014

I was forced into IT in my 40’s 30 yrs ago. I appreciate things like Google earth as I can see where my daughter lives abroad. Having worked for the Forestry Commission all my life I can revisit forests where I’ve worked. I can Skype my daughter and friends abroad and e mail them. I find IT useful but am anxious when we are forced into change and heartily condemn Microsoft’s sudden lack of support for XP. Unless one has folk to chat to one could easily be frightened into spending large amounts of ones hard earned pension on new IT that is not needed. My wife can no longer read and we are struggling to find the right IT to help her in a format that is large enough for her to read a page of enlarged print. Kindle and it’s like are no good for her purposes.

“heartily condemn Microsoft’s sudden lack of support for XP” it wasn’t sudden. End of Life dates for XP have been in the public domain for around 10 years now. you just need to know where to look for them and what to type into your search engine something like:

EOL

and that should give you the info you need, assuming you pick the correct result

I think a lot of the responses to this topic indicate that the mental grasp of new tech, and the desire to embrace it, are not necessarily the main issues but the adaptability of the devices to the special needs of people with physical limitations and that must be the challenge for tomorrow. Not to check the advance of the tech but to spec it with mech that fits the needs of the user as tight as a pod in a dock..

I agree that lack of cash makes you reluctant to splash out on new tech unless you really need it. Also for those of us old enough to recall being severely ticked off for breaking things, there is an inbuilt reluctance to press unknown buttons on new gadgets in case you wipe all the info. A friends Sky menu is now in Finnish but she’s reluctant to reset anything and have to start from scratch when her eyesight is too poor to read on screen prompts very well.

Are you sure its in Finnish ? I’ve just scrolled thru the available options on my sky box and Finnish isn’t one them

Press Services then 4 for System Setup then 3 for language and subtitles, then down arrow 3 times to the Favourite Language option then the left and right arrows to scroll through the available options
when your done downarrow 3 more times to the Save new settings. then the select button on the middle of the remote.

Good luck

Thank you. Will try it next time I visit her. On a positive tech note, she is happy with the talking alarm clock I bought her for Xmas.

No one goes further than William in exploring solutions to readers’ queries. We are all grateful for your perseverance and for taking the time to find the fix.

And now you why I was let go, too helpful.

In my mind me spending 2 minutes to help someone else save say a couple of hours was good use of my time, however management didn’t see it like that.

That’s the management’s loss. Keep up the good work, William.

Use Google translate to identify the language and if you are still having problems in returning the menus to english, the Sky Community (Forum) is quite helpful. I have used it rather than using the Sky ‘premium rate’ telephone numbers.

Avis says:
12 April 2014

What strikes me when I hold my smartphone in my hand is the sheer magic of it all.

Here is something smaller than a box of kitchen matches, and just look what it will do! If I want to see a picture, hear a tune, communicate with someone, buy something on ebay or amazon, find out the opening hours of a museum or shop, take a photo or a video, then send that photo to a friend, find a map an aerial view and a street view of almost anywhere in the world, and find my way home if I am lost – the list just goes on and on.

Think back just a few years, and consider just how amazing this technology is, and how inventive people have been. OK, there are downsides, of course there are, but far outweighed to my mind by the opportunities. And sometimes it is hard to get one’s head around the new stuff and how to use it – but I consider it a privilege to make the effort to learn.

Royston Rogers says:
26 April 2014

Hi tech
I will be 69 in a week I own, laptops, iPads , smartphones, windows PC’s, full EPOS, which I took a number of Years to input.

I took my ECDL 25 years ago when I took my CPC ,
Ask your self WHAT is old as the teenagers today say those over 30 are old.

I know people who can’t read and write and they are just leaving school now, how sad is that.?

Last year we bought a touring caravan I had to learn that and believe me that is hi tech with motor movers and all the things you have to learn thanks to the sales team for them showing us as first times.

I want to say not all the people who helped understand it where young so that means they must have been OLD.

I like this new show about the greys competing with the young lol.
Life too short to worry if your old or young just live it to the full.

If you not old you maybe dead?
Regards
Royston

I’m Nearly 81 just bought a ipad air [latest technology] sold a lap-top [rubbish] I also use my iMac 20 inch desk top .Using it now to write this, good surfing all you “old ” folks it helps your brain to function and keeps you informed.

That is such an inspirational comment, Avis – I am almost tempted to rush out and buy one now. In fact I am wondering how I manage without one. Now all I need to do is perfect an app that will light the gas and we’re cooking … and I can throw away that box of matches [remember, you read it here first]. Seriously, they should be handed out to everyone over sixty free of charge [more use than a bus pass!].

I should have remembered [I’ve been picked up on it before]: in England the free bus pass is not available until you quaify for a state pension. I still think a free smartphone should be issued at age 60 and above throughout the United Kingdom as a reward for our sacrifices during the austerity.

John – I have a free bus pass but my state pension won’t appear for some time yet.

I think they’ve changed the rules. People born 06/04/1952 – 05/05/1952 will not be eligible for a free bus pass until 6 May 2014 by which time they will be 62. Figgerty pointed this out to me in another Conversation. I think a number of correspondents are caught in the receding pension age trap. Anyway, free smartphone for all over sixties . . . could be an election winner!!

That would probably be cheaper and more popular than the smart meter roll out, John. The trouble with smartphones is that the batteries last about as long as election promises. 🙂

That’s right, John. I shall be getting my state pension and twirly pass when I get to 65 yrs 3 mths. I thought I would be able to ride the red bus and tube around London every day from my 60th birthday but Ian Duncan Smith has different plans for me.

By the way, all you millionaires don’t receive the pass automatically, as the media imply, you have to apply to your local council to receive it. You are entitled to it from the same date as your state pension.

This is getting complicated and I wish I’d never mentioned the bus pass! Londoners over sixty can get a 60+ Oyster card that allows them to travel free on all public transport in London until they qualify for a Freedom Pass [London’s equivalent of the national concessionary travel pass] which starts at pension age. [National bus pass holders can also use their pass in London to get free travel on the buses, and people living outside London can also get a regular Oyster card to get reduced fares on the Underground and London rail services when they visit, and if they also have a Senior Railcard they can have that added that to the Oyster card in order to get the 34% discount on London tube and rail services].

I know, . . . I should get out more; but I am hoping this comment is close enough to getting the most out of new tech [like smartcards] and enriching older people’s lives to qualify as being relevant to this topic without upsetting the Sunday moderator who can sometimes be rather strict.

If nothing it highlights that as people get older they’re expected ( at least by government ) to understand/deal with completely needlessly complicated things, and in this case the issuing of a simple travel pass.

My dad who is approaching 90, will travel across London using his various passes just to avoid paying postage on the things he likes to “collect”. Which is a shame as he can hardly walk and is almost blind.

John says:
12 April 2014

I am all for new technology. However, I don’t have a smart phone because I am retired and my landline is used for almost every call – I do have a mobile phone in my car for emergencies (and for my wife to ask me to turn on the oven when she is running late). I took off my watch when I retired as a statement of not being tied to the time any more, so I am doubly unlikely to have a smart watch. We do have a smart TV and it’s additional facilties are an example of the benefits of new technology. just don’t get me started on the benefits of the microwave oven…

alan hoppe says:
12 April 2014

I am happy just having a basic mobile phone. Why pay hundreds of pounds on smart phone when you can get all you want on a laptop or tablet and with a larger screen. Yes I am 70 but still like to keep up with the latest technology