Bringing Light to Our Senior Community

Angel Zhou ’22 sheds light on her experience interviewing the Senior population in her community.

The seniors in our communities are the creators of the world we, the younger generation, live in today. Their dedications and contributions truly define the values we live by. Needless to say, our senior community should be recognized and appreciated for the amazing work they have accomplished. However, as the senior population all around the world, and especially in Asia, grows rapidly, problems around senior health care (both mental and physical) arise. Before these issues become too severe to solve, the younger generation should step up and start bringing attention to the seniors in our communities.

The project I initiated this winter break aims to help us, the younger generation, get to know our senior community better, and, specifically, focuses on the relationship between seniors and their use of modern technology. Throughout the break, I interviewed fifty seniors above the age of 60 throughout Shanghai and asked them about their experience in lock down during the beginning of 2020, in addition to their thoughts on the digitization of public services in Shanghai (Ex. the normalization of Alipay and Wechat pay in restaurants and markets). After each interview, I gifted all the seniors a mini torch [purchased with the grant — many thanks to the Workman fund], to thank them for all their contributions building this society before us. With all fifty interviews, my friend (the video editor) and I tried our best to incorporate them all into one video, reflecting different aspects of the seniors’ answers.

Throughout the process of organizing and re watching the interview videos, I recognized an interesting pattern in the seniors’ responses to the following question, “What are your thoughts on the digitization of public services in Shanghai?” Based on the 50 seniors I interviewed, about 70 % of seniors between the age 60 – 75, think phones are useful tools and have almost mastered the different apps to survive Shanghai. Contrarily, 83% of seniors above the age of 75 claimed that they were confused by how technologies work, and most of them can’t read the tiny scriptures displayed by their phones.

Through analyzing these statistics, I think it’s crucial for the younger generation to be patient with the seniors in our community whenever they ask us questions about technology use. Again, thanks to the CSGC and the Workman fund for all the support! Looking forward, I think there is more to learn about this topic, and that more should be done to help the seniors in our community.

 

Senior couple I interviewed.
Seniors dancing in the park.
Seniors playing chess.

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