Contrary to popular belief, most seniors are not resistant to the technological advances we make as a society. In fact, the awe-inspiring inventions of the 21st century have significantly improved quality of life for many seniors in the United States and across the globe. Older folks may enjoy — and in many cases, depend on — technology more than Millennials and Generation Z, who grew up with technology all around them. Don’t believe us? Keep reading as we discuss three ways technology has improved quality of life for seniors!
3 Ways Technology Improves Quality of Life for Seniors
1. Finding Reliable Information
Just like younger generations, senior citizens benefit enormously from internet access and search engines. Whether they use a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone, older adults would have to be pretty darn stubborn to resist access to the limitless network of information that we call “the internet.” For instance, internet adoption among senior citizens has more than tripled since the year 2000. According to a 2014 study by Pew Research, 94 percent of seniors agree that internet access makes finding information much easier.
2. A Sense of Community
Pew Research also reported in 2014 that 46% of seniors claim to use social networking platforms like Facebook and Pinterest — but only 3% reported using Twitter. Aside from traditional social media sites, many older adults now participate in virtual retirement communities, which allow folks to continue living at home but with access to most of the resources, services, and activities you would find at a retirement home. Virtual retirement communities are staffed by professional caregivers with additional assistance from volunteers. Their jobs are to organize various services and programs for members of the virtual community, including transportation, group outings, dog walking, home repairs, and much more. None of that would be possible without advanced technology that many believe seniors are resistant to!
3. Easily-Accessible Leisure
Lastly, modern-day technology has provided seniors with increased access to leisurely activities such as reading and watching video content. Smartphones, tablets, and e-readers are widely accepted by most seniors who have access to them because the now-commonplace devices allow them to enjoy their favorite “old school” activities with less effort and for a lower cost than what was required several decades ago. In fact, many seniors praise the touch screens and simple icons that are used in smartphones specifically because they weren’t taught how to use “old fashioned” computers in school like most young people today — modern devices provide user interfaces that are very intuitive, even for someone who has minimal experience with computers.
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