Smartphones, iPads and the Internet … Oh My!
If you think smartphones, ipads, social media and the world of apps are for today’s youth only, think again! The technology boom has mostly occurred over the course of older adults’ lifetimes, and many seniors have dipped their toes in the water, becoming rather tech savvy. In fact, for many seniors, technology has had a positive impact, improving their overall quality of life by helping them to be engaged, learning new things and remaining socially connected.
While America is graying, a recent Pew Research Center study found that seniors are moving towards more digitally connected lives. According to the study published just this past May, roughly two-thirds of those ages 65 and older go online, and a record number now own smartphones, with smartphone adoption among seniors quadrupling in the last five years. Older adults, like the population as a whole, have seen a steady rise in the use of tablets, e-readers, the internet and social media.
The Pew study found that roughly three-quarters of internet-using seniors go online on a daily basis. Among older adults who own smartphones, this figure is even higher and going on the internet occurs several times a day or more. For the population of older adults who use Facebook, many log in on a daily basis.
Digital technology has transformed the way people communicate, get their news, shop, find friendship and even love — and many are liking it! The fact is, today’s technology can keep seniors engaged, connected, mentally active, and physically safe.
Enhancing Lives Through Technology
We’ve come a long way from the VCR and the rotary phone. Technology has changed the face of aging and many seniors are reaping the benefits. Here are some examples of tech benefits that are keeping older adults engaged:
Social Connection – Email, video chatting and social media can keep seniors in touch with long-distance loved ones including children, grandchildren and friends.
Exercise and Recreation – Games and activities help promote physical fitness and brain fitness — learn a new language, play a game of tennis or golf on the Wii Fit, listen to music, read, view photos or play a game of Scrabble or Solitaire.
Safety – Seniors living alone or in assisted living can get help a personal emergency system and the push of a button, giving families peace of mind for emergency situations.
Adapting to the Digital World
It is not always easy for seniors to use and adopt new technologies, and physical challenges might make it difficult to use or manipulate a particular device. Sometimes a little help with set-up and some guidance or training from a grandchild, family member or friend, can be the answer to a happy digital life.
Stein Assisted Living also has integrated technology into residents’ routines to help seniors stay connected, mentally active and physically safe. For more information, talk to a staff member or contact Jackie Kott, Director of Recreation, (732) 568-1155 or email her at Jkott@wilfcmapus.org
The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.