Let’s All Be More Senior-Friendly
This blog post was spurred by an unexpected, bizarre telephone call to my Mum asking for her credit card number.
Mum’s a pretty savvy Ph.D., questioned the caller and quickly had the strange request dismantled. High five to a street smart senior!
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many people over the age of sixty-five. Yes, the definition of a ‘senior’ varies, depending upon who you who ask. For the purposes of this post, I’m rolling with sixty-five as the magic number. In my experience, seniors are loyal, active, interesting, fun and dedicated workers. Many choose to stay in the workforce because they want to be part of a team, enjoy the social interaction and make valuable contributions to projects.
Personally, I’ve found that seniors offer wonderful big picture perspectives, excellent assets at any organization. Seniors’ vast life experience, common sense, unflappable nature and wry sense of humor make them valued staff team members. I simply adore their life experience and learning from them. In return, I’ve spent oodles of time explaining computer software features, troubleshooting printers, suggesting workarounds for recalcitrant voice mail systems … because I could help make someone’s day a bit brighter. For those who grew up with rotary dial phones and typewriters instead of smart phones and laptops, today’s pace of technology can be a bit overwhelming. However, never, ever doubt the ability of an older person to learn something new. They adore it and will embrace it (I used to supervise a new-to-computers senior who had a blast with his new laptop and once trained, was creating some of the best emails I'd ever read). Is your organization senior-friendly? Not just for customers, but for older employees?
My philosophy has always been simple: try to scam any senior in my world and the scammer will be issued an immediate, polite yet firm rebuttal. I make it a point to help the seniors I’m connected with to learn about the latest scams on the market. I admire organizations that do the same. Add this thinking to your toolkit: consider your employees caring for a more vulnerable senior at home, a person who perhaps isn’t as cognizant of the scams on the market. Think of all the unscrupulous folks contacting seniors with scams about a grandchild’s bail money, tax payments owing and fees to collect a prize. If you can add your organization’s voice to help build awareness of scams, then do so.
Thank you to the organizations taking the time to state how they will never call for money or personal information, announce when a known scam has infiltrated their space and for having live customer service representatives readily available to help explain. Thanks also to the organizations who hire on ability and attitude rather than succumbing to ageism.
It’s called stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing.