Seniors and Technology

More than ever, seniors are getting in on the fun with the digital world. This includes learning digital skills, staying connected with loved ones through online platforms, and exploring hobbies and learning opportunities online. If someone in your life is hesitant to embrace technology, here are some benefits for them to think about.  

Digital Skills and Independence: There are plenty of programs out there that encourage seniors to learn about smartphones, tablets, and computers. Libraries and community centres, for example, often run seminars and classes on how to use technology. Plenty of our day-to-day tasks that used to be tech-free are starting to integrate technology, like making appointments and managing prescriptions. Instead of needing help every time they need to go to the dentist, or need a refill on a prescription, seniors can stay independent longer by learning about how to use technology.   

Staying Connected: Seniors can use online tools like video calls and social media to stay connected with family and friends. These technologies bridge the physical gap, fostering a sense of community and reducing social isolation. Particularly in the winter months, when an older person tends to stay indoors and close to home, technology can help keep seniors connected to their loved ones.  

Online Hobbies and Learning: The digital world offers various opportunities for seniors to explore hobbies and expand their knowledge. From online classes to virtual hobby groups, seniors can engage in activities that align with their interests in the digital landscape.  

There are plenty of benefits to getting more comfortable with technology, but it isn’t always obvious how to start. Here are some tips to help seniors navigate the process of learning new technologies.

First, start with more with basic devices. A lot of cable providers, for example, are upgrading their cable boxes to be more compatible with smart TVs and streaming platforms. This is a good place to start with learning new technology, as seniors are generally comfortable using a cable box already, even if their new one has a few new features to learn.

Second, use voice commands to help simplify digital tasks. For example, many new ‘smart’ TV remotes now have voice activation technology, so seniors can simply ask their TV to mute the volume or change the channel.

Finally, while many seniors are aware of some of the risks of using technology, make sure to teach your loved ones about the importance of using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious links, and using secure Wi-Fi networks.  

Some seniors just aren’t going to want to embrace new technologies, and that is okay. But for those in your life that are on the fence, these tips can help.