Technology is constantly evolving. The latest, hottest cellphone or tablet can be yesterday’s news in what feels like no time at all.
Today’s seniors have experienced more technology evolution than any generation. Most remarkable about today’s senior citizens is that they observed the evolution of technology and are experiencing it firsthand as they immerse themselves in the latest, greatest technology to enhance their everyday lives.
Many associate cellphones, the Internet and computers with youth. But this is no longer the case. According to the Pew Research Group, computer use among Americans 65 and older has doubled in the past 10 years, and Internet use among that age group has more than tripled. Moreover, older people are taking the helm as leaders of new technology trends. Studies have found that the buyers, if not lead adopters, of the most high-tech, high-design and high-priced computing and communication devices are likely to be over 50.
The social benefits of technology are tremendous. Seniors are better able to stay in touch with family and reconnect with friends they’ve made over the years. Online videoconferencing allows a senior in Wisconsin to chat with their grandchildren in Texas. Email enables a senior to send pictures of their latest outing to an old friend, and social media is increasingly becoming attractive to seniors who can engage with updates from the people they care about most. In fact, recent reports have found that nearly half of seniors today are joining their grandchildren on Facebook.
Perhaps most remarkable, however, is the quality of life benefits that seniors are realizing through technology. When it comes down to it, new technologies provide seniors with the independence they value. Medical applications allow seniors to track aspects of their health from the comfort of their homes. Email allows seniors to stay in touch with doctors and care providers. Websites allow for online purchasing and bill pay, without the hassle of paper.
New technologies also have proved beneficial to those providing care for seniors. At senior living communitie across the country, staff members are using resident portals as ways to connect their community, online maintenance requests to streamline efficiency and tutorial classes as a way to teach residents how to incorporate these technologies into their daily lives. Cellphones and emails have improved the line of communication between staff, residents, family and doctors, so that we can better provide timely, quality care.
Source: E.A. Fetner – JSonline