Technologically Challenged

I don’t know if any of you remember – some of you have been following me for this long, so you might – but about a year ago I posted looking for some tech recommendations for my mum-in-law.

Well, the year went by and she stubbornly refused to take any steps to help out. She has even lived through lockdown isolation in, well, isolation.

Until a couple months ago. She tripped down the stairs. She certainly seemed to be injured, as she was unable to get up. They called for an ambulance – which arrived about 5 hours later. 5 hours – let that sink in. They eventually got her up. They wanted to take her to hospital as a precaution but, what with COVID n’all, she declined. We said from the start that the only way she would know what she had done was by x-ray, but what do we know?

One of the good things to have come out of this was that m-i-l at last agreed to carry some device. The cheapest solution happened to be a mobile phone – it costs half of one of these emergency SOS devices. The phone allows you to program a bunch of emergency contacts. It also has a big red button which, if pushed, will send a help text to all these contacts.

All was set up and working, Mrs B even made a pouch so that m-i-l can hang the phone around her neck. In an effort to coax m-i-l into using the thing, everybody is calling her on her new mobile number.

All going swimmingly.

Until last week. Feeling adventurous, m-i-l decided to find out how the phone’s camera worked. Unfortunately, whatever button she pushed, the phone no longer rang! It vibrated, but didn’t ring.

Everybody, by now, was remote. It was a case of trying to figure out what m-i-l had done, to turn the sound back on. Pouring over the online manual, here, Mrs Bump suggested some fixes. But however those suggestions translated to button-pushes, m-i-l has now also managed to turn “vibrate” off!

So now, the only way she knows if somebody is calling is when the screen lights up. And this is a flip phone, so… almost never!

What do you do? One of Mrs Bumps sisters is heading over there in the next few days.


  1. I sympathize since a few years ago I was in the same position and fitted with a phone on a necklace thing.  I hated it, cumbersome and I felt defeated but my falls were getting worse.  Finally ended up in a wheelchair nine years ago and a scooter inside that has a basket where I always carry the phone.  It’s a compromise but necessary. Still hate it though🙄☺️

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you. Having a background in IT means I have the advantage of seeing the usefulness in most things technical. What I cannot understand is the refusal of some older people to get to grips with using simple technology. I understand that learning new things when we reach a certain age is not as easy as it once was, but it’s simply a case of trying again, and again and again if necessary, and when the penny drops they’ll wonder why they put it off for so long.
    I hope mother-in-law’s phone get fixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That “willingness to try new things” is a definite asset. I know retired software people who want as little as possible to do with tech – because they are retired. I think this is very similar to what we talked about the other day on your “retirement” post. It is largely an attitude thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The regular engineer from the company that serviced our school computers took very early retirement a couple of years ago at the age of fifty five. We had become good friends and he unofficially looked after my home machines withpout payment. But now he’s retired he wont touch a single machine of anyone’s – I even offered to pay him but he just doesn’t want to know. I am very curious to know what he does for money.

        Liked by 1 person

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