Of course, plenty of older adults have been interested and involved in computers and digital technology for a long time. Programmers, computer specialists and software designers include people of all ages.

One example is Gene Rubel (pictured right.) After retiring from a successful career in business and financial management, he began to think about what to do next. “Computers have been a hobby of mine for the last 50 years,” he explained. “During that time I’ve helped hundreds of people with their computers, and once I retired, I thought maybe I could turn my hobby into a business.”

That business is Digital Device Doctor. It’s been keeping Rubel busy, and his clients sane, since he started it two years ago. While Rubel is happy to work with anyone of any age, he does prefer to limit his focus to Windows-based operating systems, as well as Apple and Android devices. “These days, the only Mac I work on is my wife’s!” he added.

According to Rubel, a lot of his clients are older folks who can get overwhelmed by their computers and devices, and who haven’t been able to keep up with the latest technology. That’s where his extensive experience and knowledge of the latest advances really pays off.
“I work a lot with networking issues, figuring out if a slow computer is due to a glitch in the computer itself or in the network connection. Sometimes the computers and devices have trouble syncing up. Often, it’s a security issue and I need to remove malware or ransomware,” Rubel explained. “But these are all solvable problems.”

Along with solving all those problems, Rubel also offers consultations to clients on their purchases, including new computers, devices and any necessary equipment. He guides them on everything from password management to sorting and storing their digital photos. There’s even a weekly Digital Device Doctor newsletter.

While all this keeps Rubel busy, that’s just fine with him. “I really like working with people. I don’t get frustrated, and I’m happy to take the time and answer their questions. There’s just one problem working with seniors,” Rubel said with a chuckle. “My biggest competitors are their kids and grandkids!” ■

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