Seniors and technology have not always had a comfortable partnership. As the development of new technology races forward, many seniors over the age of 65 choose not to try to keep up. While there is a common misconception that seniors do not understand technology, there are actually many reasons they may be hesitant to try the latest tech. These include:
The large gap in technology between the time seniors were young adults and today
A lack of perceived need or benefit
Fear of the unknown
Vision loss making reading screens difficult
Price and negative feelings about social media
Computer anxiety and concerns about internet safety
While seniors as a group have been slower to adopt new technology trends, the age of COVID-19 has played a large role in changing the relationship between seniors and technology. In order to continue to support seniors in growing their understanding of technology and their ability to use it, it is beneficial to recognize the barriers and the best types of technology to help seniors with day-to-day tasks.
Technology for Seniors Made Easy
During COVID-19, many seniors began to explore technology options to stay connected. According to a survey by AARP nearly two-thirds of adults over the age of 50 expressed interest in exploring new technologies. However, that same survey showed that two in five older adults did not feel comfortable trying new technology without help. To assist a senior loved one in learning how to use or access technology that is new to them, it is important to remember a few key things:
Be sure they understand the benefits and keep explanations simple
Stay patient, set a slow pace and talk about security,
Suggest classes or other learning tools
Adjust the devices to meet the needs of the senior
Allow seniors to do it themselves
>Seniors can also find technology help through the AARP partnership with OATS(Older Adults Technology Services), a nonprofit organization dedicated to harnessing the power of technology to help older adults improve their lives. Their flagship program, offers free remote and in-person training to help seniors gain the skills and confidence to use technology and stay connected. For example, residents at Anthology of Mayfield Heights can take an online class through Senior Planet for free and then use that information to enhance their ability to use the technology available at the community.
Finding the Right Technology for Seniors
There are many tech devices that market themselves as a good fit for older adults. However, the best way to know if a technology is right for seniors is to examine if that device fits the needs of the person who is interested. While the need for technology can be very specific, there are certain types of technology that do often meet the needs of seniors. These include:
Devices that offer connection. Simple flip phones, tablets, video chatting programs and computers can all give seniors the ability to see and talk to friends and family. Some applications can offer this service as well. Anthology Senior Living communities, like Anthology of Olathe, use a technology called Sagely, which is an app that assists engagement programs increasing meaningful connections.
Technology that supports healthcare goals. The specific device will vary based on the user’s healthcare needs, but there are many apps, devices and programs to support your health. From pill dispensers and nutrition guides to fitness tools and medication reminders, there are lots of choices! There are even devices that can support fitness goals. For example, Anthology of Mayfield Heights offers a golf simulator!
Learning applications and programs. Continuing to learn and experience new things is a wonderful way to keep the brain healthy as we age. At Anthology of Charlottesville, iN2L® programming is used to offer interactive multimedia and cognitive-based games to address the need for accessible engagement that enhances cognitive function, quality of life and socialization.
Tools for safety. Home monitoring systems and GPS tracking systems are two examples of technologies that seniors commonly use for safety. At Anthology of Tuckahoe, the Virtue Memory Care Neighborhoods offer enhanced safety measures, including key-padded access and real-time location systems to accommodate the evolving needs and abilities of the residents.
Senior Living Solutions
All of Anthology Senior Living’s assisted living communities provide warm, dynamic care in a supportive, engaging environment. The team at Anthology manages everything to allow our assisted living residents to enjoy each day to its fullest. We provide housekeeping services, linen services, laundry and groundskeeping. Additionally, our highly certified care managers work closely with doctors and specialists, utilizing smart technology, to coordinate all resident care.
Interested in finding an Anthology Senior Living community for yourself? Visit our community finder to learn about all our locations!