In a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at bridging the widening technology gap in the Middle East region, Whirlpool Corporation has launched the #AgelessTechnology campaign in association with Zayed University and the Senior’s Happiness Centre in Dubai.
As technology evolves rapidly, the gap in access to technology platforms and utilisation rates among generations has been growing. Furthermore, interaction between the younger and older generations has been diminishing as a result of changing communication behaviour among young adults. To address these issues and raise awareness about them, Whirlpool Corporation has embarked on a journey to bridge the gap between older and younger generations, bringing them together under the #AgelessTechnology movement.
In the first major event of this campaign, Whirlpool hosted a technology orientation workshop at Zayed University’s Dubai campus, where students helped the elderly people understand benefits of using technology and walked them through the steps for using popular social media applications. Some of the seniors connected with their close friends on these applications at the workshop, which also gave students an intimate understanding of the barriers of using technology among seniors. The students demonstrated how easily technology can be used to stay connected to people around the world, and also make life easier.
Mohamad El Yassir, regional managing director, MEA, Whirlpool Corporation said, “Technology is transforming the way we connect with each other. Already, the Middle East region, especially the GCC, is home to one of the highest Internet penetration rates. However, this ability to connect with ease is beyond the grasp of many seniors in our community.
“At Whirlpool, our commitment is to innovate and harness technology in a way that simplifies life and enables everyone to benefit from it. We have launched this initiative to move towards an era of #AgelessTechnology where we are able to bridge the technology gap between older & younger generations, and bring them closer together. In the Year of Zayed, we would like to dedicate this program to his spirit of an inclusive and compassionate society. We are delighted to have the support of Zayed University and Senior’s Happiness Centre as we grow this initiative.”
Whirlpool has also commissioned a study in partnership with Ipsos Research to understand technology usage and preparedness amongst different age groups in the UAE and KSA. Results of the study will be unveiled later this month.
“By having the ageless technology by Whirlpool, we will be helping our seniors to continue their life engagement by not being behind the technology. We all use technology to make life easier and we want the same for our seniors. We had actually started teaching few seniors on how to use some mobile applications like WhatsApp, and this had enabled them to communicate with us in a better way, and to call us in case of emergency, as technology can be lifesaver. One client is having an Instagram account operated by his son, but he feels proud keeping his precious photos in. We are positive that this initiative will be of a great help to our beloved seniors,” said Dr. Salwa Alsuwaidi, geriatrician and director at Seniors’ Happiness Center in Dubai.
Prof. Reyadh AlMehaideb, vice president of Zayed University, said, “The UAE pays great respect to elderly ‘Senior Emiratis’ and we are delighted to take part in the #AgelessTechnology campaign.”
He noted the recent directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai for “introducing a national policy for ‘Senior Emiratis’ confirming the protection of their rights, ensuring greater social inclusion and encouraging ‘Senior Emiratis’ to remain active members of society.”
Whirlpool said that it aims to take this initiative across the Middle East and inspire generations to connect better, while making the most of technology.