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Embracing technology

Fox Run provides opportunities for residents to enhance their knowledge, skills

Created date

June 23rd, 2016
Residents Sam Ray (left) and Paul Sundquist (right)

Residents Sam Ray (left) and Paul Sundquist (right) worked with Fox Run’s staff to install a Crestron digital media presentation system in one of the community’s classrooms.

More and more, older adults are embracing technology. Grandparents use FaceTime to visit with out-of-town children and grandchildren and regularly log onto their email accounts to keep in touch with friends and swap pictures with relatives. 

They’re also toting smartphones, downloading apps, getting news on the Internet, streaming videos, and shopping online. 

It’s not even uncommon these days for Grandma and Grandpa to be “friends” with their grandchildren on Facebook.

Tech-savvy seniors

Retirees living at Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., have a big leg up when it comes to staying on top of new technological trends. 

For starters, they live among thousands of other vibrant people. There’s always a friendly neighbor or a tech-savvy staff member to help trouble-shoot computer problems. 

Residents don’t even need to have their own laptops because there’s an on-site computer lab. 

Plus, residents have all kinds of opportunities to engage with technology by participating in any of the dozens of resident-run clubs and committees. People who volunteer to work in the in-house TV studio, for instance, learn how to use video cameras and other production equipment. 

Limitless possibilities

The latest piece of technology to come to Fox Run is a Crestron audiovisual system that has been installed in one of the classrooms. The high-tech “black box,” as some residents call it, can be used to play movies on a big screen, stream YouTube videos, give presentations, and much more. 

Residents can easily connect their laptops or thumb drives to the Crestron system to access content they want to share with friends, neighbors, or fellow club members.

“I am an Amazon Prime member, and I can go there and show my Prime movies in that classroom,” explains resident Geri Angel. “Say one of the religious groups wants to show a religious program from YouTube; they can just pull that up and do it. It’s just amazing. Once the residents really figure out how to use it, the possibilities are going to be limitless.”

Geri says the resident light and sound committee has been trained on the Crestron technology, and they are available to give tutorials to other residents and club leaders. 

Residents can use the system to facilitate Fox Run activities or for personal use.

“A family could even use it for a 90th birthday party, say if somebody does a DVD of Grandma and they want to show it at the party,” Geri says. “All they need to do is ask for permission to sign the key out.”