Seniors are Embracing Technology to Help with Day-to-Day Living
Does your senior loved one enjoy FaceTiming with the grandkids? Do they order groceries and refill prescriptions online? Do they check in with their physician via a computer instead of visiting an office? If so, they’re part of a growing group of seniors who are turning to technology to be entertained and manage their day-to-day lives.
According to AARP’s Tech Trends study, three in four people aged 50-plus say they rely on technology to stay connected.
“Our caregivers have definitely noticed an increase in the number of seniors who use or want to learn how to use computers, smartphones, and tablets,” said Sierra Goetz, co-founder and operations manager at the HomeCare Advocacy Network. “During the pandemic, when many seniors were locked down, they relied on technology to stay connected with their families, shop, bank, talk to their doctors, and entertain themselves. For many, it’s easy and convenient – something they want to continue to utilize.”
The survey shows that those 50-plus use technology to:
- Connect with others (66%)
- Entertainment (59%)
- Manage responsibilities (47%)
- Stay healthy (43%)
- Learn a new skill (38%)
- Pursue a passion (36%)
While there are many conveniences, the seniors surveyed also mentioned some significant challenges. Two in five of those who responded said they don’t feel technology is designed with older adults in mind, citing complexity, poor user experience and insufficient training materials.
“Seniors are typically not as tech-savvy as those who grew up with these kinds of technologies,” Goetz said. “In addition to teaching them how to use their devices, it’s important to make sure they know how to protect themselves when they’re online. Scammers think they’re easy targets, but they don’t have to be.”
Experts with the National Cyber Security Alliance recommend reminding your senior loved one to:
- Password protect all devices and make the passwords strong
- Secure access with two-step verification
- Think before they act – don’t provide personal information to any business or organization without first checking to make sure it’s a legitimate request
- Don’t click on links in emails that look unusual – even it’s from someone they know
- Adjust privacy settings to limit who can social media posts and, most importantly. Share with care
- Log out of devices when they’re not in use
“If you can’t be there to help your senior loved one navigate the online world, our trained caregivers can help,” Goetz said. “We can help keep them connect with loved ones, shop, and communicated with medical professionals – while keeping them safe from people who want to take advantage of them.”
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