In a world where many people are separated from loved ones by great distances, people are increasingly relying on technology to stay in touch with friends and family. This poses a special challenge for the senior community, as only 53% of seniors today actively engage with the internet. This means that nearly half of seniors are missing out on a huge opportunity to enrich their lives and stay connected with family and friends.
Seniors that would likely be interested in this topic are those that like to stay well informed, learn new things, and are ambitious. Your seniors don’t have to fit this profile to be interested in new technologies, but for your residents that show that savvy edge, this “Technology How-To” would be a great series to put on.
As a side note, the industry anticipates internet and technology use to grow significantly with the aging boomer population. Because of this, for a recreation director, it will be great to get that programming in place now in anticipation of boomers arriving at your senior facilities.
Educating seniors about the basics of technology is a great way help their minds stay sharp, not to mention the emotional benefits received from staying in touch with their family, reconnecting with old friends, educating themselves, and finding new entertainment opportunities.
One great resource for those seeking to understand how to educate seniors on the basics of technology is Grandparents Gone Wired http://www.dosomething.org/grandparents, a subset of DoSomething.org. This site offers simple guides on points to educate seniors on uses of technology most relevant to them.
Although some seniors may be resistant to jumping into the tech world, giving them a better grasp of the internet can help open their minds to new possibilities. Do they love to shop, but can’t make it out as often as before? Set up desktop links to the websites of their favorite department stores. Do they miss seeing their grandkids? Help them create a Skype account. Are they having trouble reading the fine print of their morning newspaper? Show how to download an app with their favorite newspaper and magnify the text.
How are you helping seniors engage with new technology?