• Teaching Old Dogs Better Tricks: Seniors and Technology

    Teaching Old Dogs Better Tricks: Seniors and Technology

It is a commonly accepted fact that seniors don’t understand technology. However, contrary to popular opinion, many seniors over the age of 50 have embraced their tablets and smartphones just as much as the younger generation. So why, then, does this untrue and –frankly– agist mentality about seniors and technology persist?

There are many reasons older adults are embracing technology at record rates. Recent studies show that seniors are adapting to the digital space more than ever before. About 70% of seniors are connected to the internet and use their phones, tablets, or laptops to access it.

That is why it is so important to put an end to this stigma as it reinforces negative stereotypes about seniors. So, here are the facts about seniors and technology:

Seniors Are More Likely to Be Dependent on Technology

As many Boomers enter their senior years, there is a demographic shift regarding how the senior community understands and uses digital devices. This is particularly true when it comes to care. The number of seniors needing some form of assistance far exceeds the number of caregivers in the job market. In fact, by 2050, the ratio of caregivers to seniors in need of assistance in the 80+ age group is expected to drop to as low as three to one. This number reveals a surplus of seniors that will need to manage another option for aging well without a care provider. Many seniors are turning to digital options to mitigate their needs. Now, seniors are adopting wearable devices, “smart” home amenities, and digital medication dispensers.

Seniors Like Technological Advances

Of the 70% of Americans over fifty who use the internet, many tend to view technology in a positive light. In fact, 58% of adults over 65 say technology has a positive impact on society. And of them, 10% profess to be online constantly. This is creating a push for software developers to consider the user characteristics of older adults to promote better user experiences during the design process. This may include larger text and buttons for poor eyesight associated with aging. Color vision also commonly declines with age and some seniors may have trouble distinguishing certain colors and need higher levels of contrast.

The Seniors of the Future

Interestingly, Boomers make up a huge part of the population. According to the Census Bureau by 2030, all baby boomers will be over the age of 65. That’s over 21% of America’s population. The fact is, the aging population is simply too large to ignore or disregard as many previous generations.

Similarly, seniors of today recognize the major benefits of technological advances in maintaining health and independence. This creates more opportunities for businesses to create better aging options in the midst of a growing caregiver crisis.

Want to improve your own technological skills? Try converting your photos to digital copies.

Twin Towers is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering patio homes, apartments, rehab services, and more. For more information, contact Twin Towers online or at 513-853-2000.

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