Facilitating Technology Use Among Older Adults

Geographic separation among loved ones is now bridged through devices and platforms that sustain communications across sea and land. While the demand for technological advancements grows with a new generation of tech-savvy consumers, the older adult demographic has also been catching up with the trend. According to the “2016 Technology Survey, Older Adults, Age 59-85+,” commissioned by research company Link∙age, all respondents “but those aged 85+ are online.” In comparison, only 33 percent of those surveyed in 2011 reported having access to the internet.

For those with loved ones who are still learning to be tech-savvy, here are several reasons why bridging that communications gap is important.

Devices are Becoming More User-Friendly

To stay connected, products that encourage device use and exploration must be made accessible to older adults. These include phones and other gadgets that are designed to address specific needs of this age demographic. An example would be this well-designed phone from https://www.jitterbugdirect.com/, which makes it easier to call and text other people.

The jitterbug flip cell phone offers the most convenient features for older adults that require only the most useful and essential functions, such as a loud speakerphone capability for those with hearing difficulties. It has an external display screen that indicates the date and time. Both internal and external screens display figures in readable size. illuminated with sufficient backlight. Users are provided with the essentials without the distracting features of more advanced phones.

More Services are Now Online

As internet usage grew, more commercial and even public services have become accessible online. Online shopping has seen an unprecedented growth in recent years. A Fortune.com article cited a survey done by analytics firm comScore which indicate this trend. The survey, which sampled around 5,000 online customers, indicate a steady increase of online purchasing per year. In 2016, the figure was at 51 percent compared to 48 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014.

Aside from the proliferation of e-commerce sites, more government and public entities have extended their services online. As an example, Social Security and Medicare benefits can now be filed virtually. Taxes can also be filed online for the convenience of older adults and the tech-savvy community.

Globalized Work and Living

As work and living arrangements become more globally dispersed, adapting new technology and applications has become a necessity. Thus, encouraging those who are part of the older age demographic to become more adept with cellphones, laptops, and other devices is important in order to maintain connectivity.

A Pew Research on “Older Adults and Technology Use,” identified several challenges to technology adoption for this age group. These challenges include certain physical conditions, skeptical attitudes, and technology learning issues. However, the same study also showed that those who decided to “join the online world,” make it a regular habit of going online. According to the study, around 71 percent go “online every day or almost every day.” Moreover, a majority of those who use the internet agree on the “positive benefits” of the technology to their lives.