If nothing else, the pandemic has shown that older adults are willing and able to adapt and thrive with new technologies. Seniors are smashing old stereotypes about age and technology.
From helping older adults stay in touch with friends and family, to monitoring their safety, simplifying their shopping and banking, keeping them stimulated and entertained and connected to their healthcare practitioners, technology has made life for older adults more convenient, safer, healthier and happier.
Here are just a few of the ways we see technology transforming the lives of older adults in good ways.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Has it ever been any easier to stay in touch with family and friends? I get that we're all sick of zoom, but how nice is it for a mother to speak with her daughter via facetime daily? Or for grandparents to watch their grandson open up their birthday gift from the other side of the country? Or a group chat amongst family or friends? What used to cost dollars a minute is now free, ubiquitous and live. It's incredible and truly is the next best thing to being in person.
With many older adults not able to receive visits from family members or professional caregivers during the pandemic, ensuring and monitoring their safety from a distance was priority number one for many. We saw family members use technology like medical alert systems, motion/activity sensors, fall detectors and cameras to keep tabs on their loved ones.
With many older folks avoiding public places like stores, restaurants and banks, adoption of helpful delivery and online banking apps have soared. How convenient will that be for all seniors with mobility issues, or family members who used to be tasked with shopping for groceries and daily items for their parents. Now you can just get it delivered! Why go to the bank branch to pay your bills or credit card when you can do it online? Really convenient and life changing stuff!
Let's face it, isolation, loneliness and depression were/are a big problem for seniors before and during the pandemic. So while many seniors couldn't go to the local senior center, the theatre, concerts or the movies, technology has done a wonderful job filling in the gap. Older adults have used the internet to take online classes, play bridge, exercise, watch movies, attend church / synagogue / mosque / temple learning sessions and so much more.
One of the lifelines to staying healthy for older adults is staying connected to their healthcare provider. But getting to and from the doctor isn't always easy, neither is a couple of hours in the waiting room for a 10 minute appointment. Thankfully, more and more primary doctors are willing to consult with their patients through telemedicine. This is a huge win for seniors and caregivers alike, who used to shuttle parents to and from medical appointments.