Masako Wakamiya 81 yr old app developer: Thought leader of the silver years.

This is an article that can be shared not only with the oldie’s in your life; but to anyone who may feel that technology has surpassed them. If you don’t want to fork out on a brand new machine, check out some of the great prices on a Used Macbook , Used iPad or any Used Apple product. It’s never too late to learn a new skill.

Twenty years ago at aged 59, Masako Wakamiya of Japan had clocked 43 years of service as a banker and was depressed at the thought of her mandatory retirement at 60. A vibrant talker, she was to care for her aging mother and anticipated that she would feel isolated and disconnected from the world. She felt that there must be something she could do to stay connected and accomplish active aging herself, while also caring for her mum.

Not one for bingo and bowls, Masako came across an advert in a magazine and proceeded to purchase her first computer at aged 60. “I’m not a technical person,” she recalled, fondly remembering when she successfully set up her first computer twenty years ago and was greeted with its welcome message.

“Yes, I did it!” She screamed. She was hooked.

Among her long list of achievements, perhaps the most amusing is that this inspiring tech granny managed to find a way to make Excel fun. She found the program boring, and using her inspiring ability to think outside the square, she has been teaching excel art to her loyal band of followers. Wakamiya produces beautiful and intricate, traditional Japanese art simply by applying Excel patterns, colours and her amazing imagination to the cells.

Masako has become an innovative oldie who affectionately refers to retirement as the “silver age.” She is a firm believer that the elderly can live a fulfilling and enriched “second half of their life,” through technology.

At a Tokyo TEDx talk, Masako schooled a captivated audience on active aging within the digital world. She showed off her beautiful pattern art, which has been printed on Japanese fans and is even used on her modest clothing.

When many her age struggle to send an email, Masako had identified that there were “almost no apps that the elderly can enjoy.” So she recruited a “young person” to teach her Apple’s Swift programming language via Skype and Facebook Messenger. What else would an 80yr old do?

Her app is named Hinadan, which loosely translates to Doll Teir. The object is to arrange twelve dolls in their correct positions on a four tier display. The game is complete with an introduction, the game itself, and a message of congratulations upon completion. Masako explains that the detailed doll illustrations within the app were achieved by her friend, who…(can you guess?)…used the shapes in Microsoft Office.

So…all you forty-something’s out there moaning about technology; what’s your excuse?

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