When helping seniors with tech, we have to apply a completely different way of thinking. We have to adapt to their environment and what they are capable of doing. The most difficult part about dealing with seniors is trying to get them to do things for themselves and to create a structure they can follow for the daily tasks that they want to do. Patience is also very important.
Young people may roll their eyes at older people who can’t use technology as fast as they do, but it’s wrong to say that older Americans can’t use technology. Remember, a baby boomer, Tim Berners-Lee, invented the World Wide Web, so why should we be surprised that they continue to create, adopt and use new technology?
Middle-aged and older adults are embracing technology for a variety of reasons. Recent national data reveals that Americans are more digitally connected than ever before. With approximately 70% of seniors now connected to the internet, these devices are a part of their daily lives to stay informed, connect to friends and family, shop, make travel plans, and make reservations for travel and transportation. Apps such as Medisafe, Google Maps with parking spot reminders, HomeAway and Lumosity are also becoming popular among the older population.
As experts in aging and health, we focus on the factors that promote successful aging, enabling older adults to connect, create and contribute. In particular, we have been studying technology use in older adults, examining both positive and negative aspects of technology and challenging the myths surrounding older adults’ use and adoption of new technology. Our research posits that aging, technology and health issues will be inextricably linked in the future.
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