Seniors & Technology: Putting the Myths to Rest

Randi Baxter Posted on Jan 18, 2016

As technology continues to grow, so does the myth that seniors are averse to new innovations. As younger generations assume that their senior counterparts lack an interest or are incapable of comprehending technology, what occurs is that seniors are discouraged from becoming engaged in the first place.

We are not saying that seniors are the largest demographic of technology users, however they are also definitely completely remiss from using the latest and greatest innovations.

According to a Pew Research Survey in 2014, 6 out of every 10 seniors use the internet, while 71% of those seniors do so every day. The same survey found that 7 out of 10 seniors 65 and older own a mobile phone—and that proportion is growing rapidly.

Need more proof? Even of those aged 76 and older, 56% reported owning a cell phone. These findings justify that not only are seniors adapting to digital technology, they are also using it in increasing numbers. 

This doesn’t go without saying that seniors might find adapting to new technologies slightly more daunting than younger generations, but they are more than capable of learning how to use it.

Pew research also shows that seniors who decide to take control of their technology education, usually go on to make it a part of their daily lives. There are a number of resources when trying to familiarize with the digital world, and for those savvy seniors who are interested, they are more than ready to utilize them.

It’s also not uncommon to hear that seniors don’t have a need for technology in their lives. While this may be true for some, there are still a number of savvy seniors who have found a need, and are using technology in a number of beneficial ways.

Seniors enjoy staying connected to family members, like anyone else, through social media platforms and smartphones—Pew Research shows people over the age of 65 are also the fastest-growing group on social media.

But technology doesn’t only mean the use of social media and smartphones. For many seniors the need for technology stems from their vested interest in living a healthy lifestyle. From wearable technologies such as fitness trackers and vital monitors, to mobile apps that give them complete access to their personal health data—technology gives seniors the ability to easily monitor their health and wellness in the comfort of their home.

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For example, wearable technologies are integrated into the AlayaCare solution, allowing wearers to stay out of the hospital. Similarly, data collected from devices allows individuals to take more control of their lives and ensure they maintain their health. Even while receiving care, seniors wish to be more involved in their own healthcare, communicating between themselves, home care agencies, and their loved ones through solutions such as a Family Portal.

So while there are plenty of stereotypes surrounding seniors and technology, and they may be lagging behind a bit in terms of adoption, there is no reason to say that older generations don’t appreciate or use technology. It’s important to recognize everyone’s different tastes as individuals, and recognize those who are taking control of their technology education. 

Telehealth technology, such as remote patient monitoring devices, enable care workers to be proactive and predictive in a patient’s care. Over 300 bluetooth enabled health and wellness devices tie into the AlayaCare solution, where seniors and their families can ensure they are staying out of the hospital and in the comfort of their own home.

 Home Care Agency Guide to Technology

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/usage-and-adoption/

https://www.puretalkusa.com/blog/the-senior-addvantage/mythbusters-seniors-and-technology/

Topics: Family Portal, Virtual Care