Summer CSGC Grant Update: Bringing Light to Our Senior Community, Part Two

To continue my CSGC mini grant project – an interview project which documented 50 responses from seniors in Shanghai on the topic of senior care during COVID and the effects of technological advancement – I want to use suggestions from these responses to assist seniors in their use of technologies. From data I collected through the interviews, I recognized an interesting pattern in the seniors’ responses to the question of “What are your thoughts on the digitalization of public services in Shanghai?” From the 50 seniors, about 70 % of them above the age of 60 and below 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.

By the end of my interview project, I came up with several possible ideas which can help seniors gain technology support in their community:

1. Distribute paper instruction pamphlets explaining how to access the most used apps among the seniors.
2. Create a local support buddy system that pair one senior with one junior volunteer who provide tech assistance

Taking COVID into account, the second option may not be possible for this summer. Therefore, for my CSGC summer grant project, I propose to commission a paper pamphlet, which explains the procedures to operate on few of the most common (most necessary) apps, with simple and easy to understand instructions. After the creation of the pamphlet – a process which will include a group of writers (including myself) – I will contact several nursing homes in the Deerfield + Woodbridge, CT area, and ask them to distribute the pamphlets among the seniors. Further, my other goal (tentative, depending on how fast I can finish writing the pamphlet) is to create a website and upload some instructional videos which will also explain how to use each app.

The writing of the pamphlet will take place in the month of July. By the end of July, I hope to solidify the pamphlets (around 50-60 pages max) and send them to a printing house. And by mid-August, I hope to be able to distribute the pamphlets to the nursing homes I am in contact with.

My ultimate goal would be to hear positive feedback from the seniors on how useful the pamphlets are. This would be done through short surveys that I will send out through the nursing homes, and I am excited to see what their feedback looks like in terms of future areas for improvements.

Last but not least, thank you to the CSGC office for providing this opportunity!

-Angel Zhou ’22