How to easily explain to older folks? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There are quite a few older folks (seniors) that I'm very concerned about, re: the Y2K issue - that seem to have no grasp of this issue, no matter how I try to explain it. Is there a SIMPLE way that the issue can be explained to older folks who 1.) dont use computers 2.) dont understand the way society is computerized 3.) dont think this is going to affect them personally, because of 1 & 2 ??

This is a very frustrating position for me to be in, because I care a great deal about these people, and I want them to understand this, at LEAST enough to be as prepared as possible. any help would be greatly appreciated. - Sincerely - C. Rolfe

-- Carla Rolfe (, July 30, 1998


Sorry, but your average person needs hard evidence. The best thing we can do is pressure utilities into admitting that they won't be ready. Once we have this confession, we can ask people pointed questions about how they are going to manage without basic services. You can talk until you are blue in the face but without evidence nobody believes. Hang in there, it has to be forthcoming.

-- Amy Leone (, July 30, 1998.

I finally got through to my in-laws. All it took was for someone in whom they have trust and faith to pronounce the words. In their case it took Pat Robertson on the 700 club. I watched it. It was excellent. I didn't think that a religiously based show could be so hard hitting and factual. Then, old Pat said what I have been wanting to tell my inlaws, but did not have the courage to say. The camera closed in and he said, "Sell your stocks and get your money out of the banks" Since I am no kid myself, (60) I am pushing AARP to make some kind of pronouncement. Have you thought of how many seniors there are in this country, many with money, all with little to do, how much pressure they can bring to bear on the government? If the 700 club and AARP start playing the same song, maybe something will get done.

-- Bill Solorzano (, July 30, 1998.

Funny, I'd think older folks would "get it" easier than most. Many of them grew up in homes without electricity, running water, etc. & they'll probably remember outhouses, gas lights, oil lamps, hand pumps, and so on.

IMO, an elderly couple would be a valuable resource for a community preparing for Y2K. Things we think of as "survival stuff" are in their direct experience. And we like to joke about how the elderly can remember what happened 50 years ago better than they remember yesterday... but we might be thanking God for that in a couple of years.

-- Larry Kollar (, July 30, 1998.

Carla and others...Thank you for caring about us seniors! As one of them, living in a HUD complex of 160+ residents, I have brought it up to my neighbors, occasionally. They just do not seem all that interested, at this time. A few weeks ago, I brought the 3-hour C-SPAN Y2K Forum video to our manager here. I also brought many, many print-outs from this Forum. She is open about the info., but hasn't had time to get into it yet. I already talked to her about getting a Food Bank going here; some residents have no "extra" funds for building a "stash." My hope, too, is that children of the elderly will be prepared to help them in any way they can. Next April 1, if not before, things will get "serious" enough to (hopefully) impress everyone about the probable grave impact of Y2K. On that day, New York State, Canada, and Japan begin their fiscal Year 2000, meaning their computers must be ready to accept 01012000--if I understand this correctly. On April 6, the same occurs for Great Britain's govm't, and most private business. Carla--keep on keepin' on! Bless you!

-- Holly Allen (, July 30, 1998.

I found it easier to explain to my 88 year old grandmother than my 60+ year old parents. The biggest help for my grandmother was when she watched the 700 club. The key is to find someone who's opinion they value and if you can't go at it from the computer angle, try to take a different angle. Talk about the shaky bubble-economy and the need to be prepared for a crash that could disable many sectors of our society. Maybe they will agree with you on that. If you can get them to do a LITTLE preparation, it's a start you can build on. Then you can give them little bits of info at a time. Ask questions like: "Tell me about how the depression (or other hard times) affected you." Ask for details and when one could relate to Y2K say "You know, IF the computers crash we might have to do that again." or let them know that YOU take it seriously. "Grandma, can you tell me how to do (X) so I can be prepared when the electricity goes out." or "I'm planning on doing (X, X and X) because I think this computer problem is going to be serious." Maybe they will take your word on it and sense your urgency and it will convince them.

-- Kay P (, July 30, 1998.

My 70 year old dad got it in an eyeblink...I was only a little surprised and very pleased. He is a free thinker and born in 1928, and knows what they mean when they say..."We're from the government, and we're here to help." This is a man who built a business from nothing, sold it, all the time keeping a 1/2 acre of garden, repairing everything himself, and who now has nine rural acres with everything but a generator for electricity...

Darn proud of my dad, who has looked at his wacky daughters and asked facetiously, "How did you get to be such rebels?"

My thoughts,... be honest with your aging parents...tell them you love them and see what plans can be made. Honesty and love still count for something where I hail from.

-- Donna Barthuley (, July 30, 1998.

An addition to my above post: I sent an Email to Modern Maturity Magazine, AARP's publication. I urged that they inform seniors, in the magazine, about Y2K; told them how to access this site and that there is a wealth of info about this coming debacle on other sites. It might help if others also sent them an Email. Sometimes "silence is golden" but not now!

-- Holly Allen (, July 30, 1998.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer this question - your input is greatly appreciated.


Carla Rolfe

-- Carla Rolfe (, July 31, 1998.

Carla, I have found, like some of the other folks here, that the older the person is, the better able he or she is to understand the issue...and discuss it calmly.

We can learn alot from our grandparents (or someone else's) if we will just listen.

My Mom and Dad on the other hand ( in their late 60's) are usually hip to everything, but they are absolutely oblivious to y2k. I've spoken to them about it, and I don't worry about their physical care, they have been very self sufficient for years. But I worry about their reaction to money loss.


-- sylvia (, August 05, 1998.

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