Improving elderly living through technology, sound good? It can and does happen because of all the latest technological improvements. But much of it is lost on the elderly because they don’t know how to use the latest products, even if they buy them. Having a friend or family member around to answer tech questions could pave the way to increased tech use. Eighty percent of elders acknowledge that technology could help them stay connected to loved ones and help them live longer in their own homes.
Tech-services provider Bask, in a recent survey, proclaimed that eight in ten older Americans lack means to utilize the technology, but they would “make greater and more frequent use of information and communications technology (ICT) if they had ready access to support and assistance.”
According to their research, only one-third of respondents use a personal computer at least once a month, and fewer than one in five can text. About 50 percent don’t go online because it “takes too long to understand and keep up with technological change.” More support will likely be forthcoming from providers and agencies but for now it is up to the friends and family to take the initiative to mentor older loved ones with technology. The benefit of elders using technology is their increased independence, which would help relieve the health services, according to Naomi Climer, president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Technological developments can help older adults and those who are housebound with tasks that keep them mobile, keep them at home longer and help them stay connected to others, which is one of the most important factors for a long and fulfilling life.
Loneliness is at epidemic levels among elders in the U.S. today and is associated with shorter life spans, chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, and even dementia. Helping those in their 80s and above connect through technology is an opportunity to enhance their well-being. A recent study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that healthy and mildly cognitively impaired people over 70 who engaged in daily face-to-face online conversations for six weeks showed significant improvements in cognitive skills. For greater detail go to: http://www.nextavenue.org/technology-changing-aging/
Subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter.