Automated Ordering Makes Life Miserable for Elderly

  • By Heo Sang-woo

    January 11, 2020 08:13

    Most elderly people feel left out as restaurants and shops install automated ordering kiosks to cut down on human staff due to a sharp increase in the minimum wage, a poll suggests.

    One of them is Oh Gwang-eun (77) from Seocho in southern Seoul, who recently came away empty-handed after trying in vain to order bread from a machine in a bakery.

    Mirae Asset surveyed 670 people over 55 and found that seven out of 10 had either never used an automated ordering device or failed when they tried. The proportion stood at 64 percent among those aged 55 to 64 but rose to 87.3 percent among the over-65s. That means only one out of every 10 senior citizens could handle the innovation.

    Many elderly people also said they lose heart when they see the long lines in front of the machines.

    Some local governments are even offering classes on how to wrestle with the machines. The Seocho District Office in Seoul got hold of an automated ordering machine for senior citizens to practice with, and 350 people signed up for the first lesson in September last year and 1,500 signed up for the next.

    "We decided to offer the class to help senior citizens get used to them and were told they were very satisfied," an official at the Seocho District Office said.

    Meanwhile, life satisfaction among older people stood at 6.14 points out of 10, with the score falling with age -- from 6.29 points for those aged 55 to 64 and 5.89 points for those aged 65 to 75.

    The score averaged 6.29 points for married people and 6.4 points for those with children but fell to 5.3 points for singles.

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