Today we are relying on technology more than ever before. Embracing technology is effortless for some people who maneuver software and cloud-based platforms seamlessly; however, older adults often find technology confusing and frustrating. It wasn’t until middle of the 90s that computers were introduced into schools and the internet exploded. Younger people that grew up with computers, tablets, and smartphones – “digital natives” – have an edge over those that didn’t use them in their youth.
Market researchers have reported that adults in their later 60s, 70s, 80s and older are motivated to purchase technology devices; however, frustration is the biggest barrier for not wanting to use them. But, this “low technology literacy” can be addressed with opportunities for older adults to learn basic skills and boost their confidence and comfort. The good news is technology literacy is improving!
According to the Pew Research Center for internet and research technology, the rate of adults 65 years and older who use smart phones, tablets, and computers has more than doubled in the last 7 years. Recent data reveals that 70% of seniors are now connected to the internet using their devices in daily life to stay informed, socially connected, shop, make reservations, travel plans, and connect to patient portals to communicate with doctors.
With today’s rapid evolution of technology, most seniors are willing to learn more about usage to improve quality of life, increase connectivity, and achieve a sense of community. Here are a few suggestions to help increase the learning curve:
• The Read Center: https://readcenter.org/computer-skills/
• Seniors Guide to Computers: https://www.seniorsguidetocomputers.com/internet.asp
• Computers for Seniors by Chris Ewin
• The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Using your Computer for Seniors by Paul McFedries
• Computers for Seniors for Dummies by Nancy Muir
“Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” – Benjamin Franklin