Is it too late for elderly people to embrace today’s technology?
It seems that almost every aspect of life is touched by technology. From banking and shopping to keeping in touch with friends and family, it’s hard to imagine how things used to be without computers, phones and other digital wonders. However, fewer than half of elderly people over the age of 80 use the internet, according to Pew Research Center.
While this statistic may not be surprising since that generation came of age well before advancements in computer science, there’s really nothing stopping today’s elderly population from embracing some of the more helpful gadgets and devices out there. Family caregivers can open new doors within their elderly relative’s life as well as their own when they take the time to make technology relevant for them and teach them how to access it.
Most seniors simply don’t know how to begin to get involved in today’s technology. They may not see how it is relevant to their lives or how it can really help them. Other seniors are quite afraid of trying something new and intimidating while still others have simply never had the need or the opportunity to learn. Like any new experience, it’s always easier with a knowledgeable guide. That’s where family caregivers and other family members come in. They can help their elderly loved one get set up in the digital age and use devices and technology that benefits them the most.
From looking at baby pictures online to texting family members, elderly adults have a lot of reasons to embrace technology. They can even find creative outlets, such as writing or creating music on the computer, looking up recipes, participating in virtual book clubs, learning new hobbies, watching favorite old movies and playing memory-enhancing games. The more that elderly people experience the world of technology, the more likely they are to continue on and learn more. Elderly care can be improved as seniors harness the power of technology to boost their own quality of life.
The best way for family caregivers to help their aging relative out is to identify what area of their life they want to enhance first. Are they bored in the day? Access to a computer and the internet can open up a whole new world. Do they want to stay closer to relatives? Emailing, texting and some social media may be appropriate. When teaching elderly people, begin with the simplest possible technology and be very patient. Today’s seniors have not been raised in the digital age, so many things that seem intuitive to younger generations, like double clicking and touch screens, are not familiar. Caregivers should provide step by step demonstrations and even provide written steps so the elderly person can follow them over and over.
Family caregivers should also look around for community resources that teach seniors more about technology. It’s not uncommon for libraries, senior centers, elderly care services, adult day programs, community centers or retirement homes to provide some beginner classes for elderly adults to tap into all that modern technology has to offer.
For elderly care in Southern NJ and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.