Research shows that 44% of seniors have changed their perspective on technology because of the global pandemic. More and more seniors see technology as a way to stay connected to their families and loved ones.
But even with this change in attitudes toward technology for seniors, barriers to technology use for older adults are all too common. Would you believe 22 million older Americans have no access to the internet? In particular, Black and Latino seniors are more likely to have no computer access at all.
Paying attention to technology use among seniors has never been more important. If we understand what older adults need as it relates to technology, we can work to give them the access and support they need.
Read on to learn more about the uses and benefits of technology for seniors.
Technology Use Among Seniors
The AARP reports that seniors are making increasing use of the following technologies:
- Video chat, texting and emailing
- Streaming entertainment
- Online banking
- Digital health and fitness information, including telehealth appointments
- Online shopping, including grocery orders
Seniors are also spending more money on tech than ever before. In 2021, technology-related spending among older adults increased from $394 to $1,144 per year.
How Does Technology Benefit the Elderly?
The past two years have been challenging for older adults. Vulnerability to COVID-19 has made isolation among seniors a serious concern.
Technology has not only provided a safe way for seniors to keep in touch with loved ones. It has given them ways to stay as independent as possible. It’s now easier than ever for seniors to order groceries directly to their homes, or keep up with healthcare appointments via video chat.
And entertainment technology means seniors can easily stay mentally active and healthy. It can also be a great way for seniors to connect with the younger generation, making visits from grandchildren more fun for everyone!
Barriers to Technology Use for Older Adults
The biggest barrier to technology access for seniors is simple: cost.
Research shows that older adults with an income of under $25,000 and without a high school diploma are 10 times more likely to lack access to the internet.
Older adults also report difficulties in understanding and using technology. Many seniors left the workforce before tech use became common. This has left them without the skills or vocabulary to navigate technology later in life.
83% of seniors also have concerns about privacy. Without native fluency in tech, it can be hard for older adults to trust that what they do online will stay private. This can be a major deterrent to using technology at all.
Improving Access to Technology for Seniors
Seniors stand to gain a great deal from access to technology. But how can we overcome those barriers and help them to stay connected?
The fact is that technology is usually designed with a younger audience in mind. But assisted living communities like Juniper Communities provide a great way for seniors to get the most out of cutting-edge technology. Our state-of-the-art programs offer a coordinated, high-tech, high-touch approach to senior healthcare.
We also use new technology to provide memory care to seniors living in our communities. It’s all about building on the support we already offer while helping to improve autonomy for our residents.
Older adults have more opportunities than ever thanks to technology. Here at Juniper, we strive to increase access to those opportunities.
It’s important to us to help our residents stay connected – to family, to loved ones, and to their own health outcomes. Technology for seniors is a cornerstone of what we do, and we’d love the chance to tell you more.
Contact your local Juniper community today to discuss assisted living options and the advanced technology assets we offer every resident.