Technology is ageless

Becky Diamond is on trend

Created date

November 22nd, 2019
Tech-savvy Becky Diamond shows off a photo she enhanced using Photoshop. Becky also teaches iPhone classes to her fellow Maris Grove neighbors.

Tech-savvy Becky Diamond shows off a photo she enhanced using Photoshop. Becky also teaches iPhone classes to her fellow Maris Grove neighbors.

Becky Diamond hasn’t used a stamp in years. She rarely calls, never writes letters, and says Amazon is her “best friend.”

The Maris Grove resident exemplifies the new wave of tech-savvy seniors—66% of the U.S. population over 65—who do everything online, from paying bills to shopping to connecting on social media. 

In fact, 75% of seniors who use technology say they go online at least once a day, and 58% say technology has had a positive impact on their lives.

Becky couldn’t agree more. A very early adopter, she recalls her husband bringing home a computer in 1981. “We inserted the 5 ½ inch floppy disks and taught ourselves how to use it,” she says with a chuckle. 

“There was no internet, so you couldn’t watch a YouTube video,” she continues. “We read the manuals and learned as we went. Every time new software launched, I bought the For Dummies book and figured it out.”

Sharing her knowledge

Word of Becky’s skill set spread quickly. Friends and neighbors called when they had computer or software issues, and she was happy to assist. Sensing an opportunity, she created a computer instruction and repair business that she ran until she and her husband moved to Maris Grove, an Erickson Living community in Glen Mills, Pa., in 2017. 

Although happily retired, she continues sharing her knowledge by teaching an iPhone class to fellow Maris Grove neighbors. “I cover everything, from the basics to the most advanced functions,” she says. “We usually have 25 people per class, which shows you that everyone, regardless of age, is using smartphones.” 

Becky is passionate about digital photography and uses Photoshop software to enhance the images she takes. “It’s incredible how creative you can be,” she notes. 

She also used her webpage design skills to create a site for the Maris Grove Women’s Club. The site has a wealth of information on life at Maris Grove, from FAQ’s and tips for newcomers, to events, club news, and volunteer opportunities. 

Becky cannot imagine her life without technology, particularly her smartphone and tablet. She uses a variety of apps, including My Erickson, which shows residents everything going on in the community. “I use it every day,” she says. “The cafés change their menus daily, and I like to see what they’re serving. If I’m in a hallway and need to find someone, I can look up their apartment. It’s so convenient.” 

Erickson Living’s commitment to technology

According to Hans Keller, Erickson Living’s chief information officer, “The response to the My Erickson app has been tremendous. The number of residents enrolled doubled from last year, and we expect to reach 75% enrollment next year. By year’s end we will integrate Alexa into My Erickson, enabling residents to ask for the information they need.”

In addition to the app, Erickson Living offers high-speed Wi-Fi and tech support to residents, which help them connect with others and find information that supports their active lifestyles. 

He also notes the proliferation of computer clubs at Erickson Living communities. “These peer-to-peer experiences enable residents to learn together and support each other. We fully embrace the kind of classes Becky and others are teaching on campus.” 

Says Keller, “Technology is not stratified by age. Our residents have embraced devices, apps, and websites that allow them to perform daily tasks, stay connected, and explore new worlds. Erickson Living will continue to provide residents with exciting new tools and fast connectivity, so they can use technology in ways that work best for them.”