Going with the FLOH
By Timothy R. Schulte - CTW Features | posted on April 16, 2012 at 6:59am
World Wide ... What? America’s favorite mom, Florence Henderson, knows what it takes to get your older relatives wired into your wedding
So the wedding website is up and running, and with a few clicks guests can RSVP, book a room at the hotel and even purchase something off one of the registries. It sounds simple enough – except some of your older relatives may be a little nonplussed by it all.
If technology is completely foreign to them, you might try to sing the laurels of technology and help guide them a bit. It just may stick.
“When you’re younger and have young kids, they’re trying to keep up with you; when you’re older, you’re trying to keep up with them,” says actress Florence Henderson. Most famous for playing mom Carol Brady on “The Brady Brunch,” Henderson turned her own technology fears into a way to help older adults in the same boat. Her new venture, The FLOH Club, is a phone-based technical support service designed to help older adults with tech issues – it’s like roadside assistance for computers, says Henderson.
A reformed Luddite, if you will, Henderson long avoided computers and learning about technology, to the point that she’d have her assistant print out e-mails and would dictate back the responses. “I never really had the time or felt I had the need,” she says. “I was so terrified to even try it.”
But at the behest of her children – “Mom, you gotta do this,” they told her – she dove in and was soon e-mailing from her phone and texting – and thinking it wasn’t hard as she thought it’d be. Now, she has a Facebook page and Skypes with her family. “The most exciting thing for me is being able to video-conference,” she says.
To help your parents, grandparents and other older relatives feel at ease with the web-savvy of today’s weddings, Henderson outlines a few suggestions:
Remind Them of Cost Savings
When booking hotel rooms or making airliner reservations, “[You can] get good deals if you know how to do it online,” says Henderson. “Especially today with everything so costly, if you can find a less expensive way to do it, that’s so important.”
Feeling Secure with Online Purchases
“That is a worry,” says Henderson, noting that now she does more online shopping. Her tip: “Guide people to stores where they know their cards will be protected and where they’re not going to get ripped off.”
A Little Goes a Long Way
Everyone’s busy, and sometimes it’s even tough to connect on the phone. E-mailing or sitting down for a quick video-chat is a simple way to keep family in the loop on wedding details without laborious phone calls. “I think for me it’s being able to stay connected,” Henderson says.
Be a Cheerleader
“[My kids] know how I like to stay with it. They would always be encouraging me,” says Henderson. “I’ve always wanted to be relevant and know what’s going on,” says Henderson. “Being a part of something so vast and so big … it makes me feel younger.”