How Seniors Are Adapting to New Technology Trends

Philosopher George Pór at work at Hawkwood College in Stroud, UK

Technology is rapidly changing and advancing every day. While it might seem challenging to keep up with the ever-changing tech environment, it’s beneficial for seniors to learn how to embrace and adapt to new technology trends. 

Tech trends can help seniors in their everyday lives. From wearable IoT devices that can help to monitor their health to smart home technology that can keep them safe and secure, seniors need to be on board with tech trends, and younger generations to help bridge the gap.

Don’t assume that every elderly person is tech illiterate. There is even surging popularity among “granfluencers” — essentially, older social media influencers. Once you understand how helpful technology can be for the elderly individuals in your life, you’ll want to reach across the generational divide and help them foster a better understanding of how to use tech trends to their advantage.

Let’s take a look at how seniors are adapting to new technology trends, why it’s such a big deal, and what you can do to help them.

The Importance of Tech Literacy With Age

Tech literacy is essential for everyone in this digital age, but it’s especially important for seniors who might otherwise feel out of their element when it comes to rapidly-changing technology. Even older individuals who are familiar with tech trends can benefit from brushing up on their skills by taking public courses or training programs.

When tech literacy is avoided in older adults, it can make life more challenging. So many things are done online nowadays. If a senior isn’t familiar with how to use technology to their advantage, everything from social media to online bill paying, and even setting medical appointments can become an overwhelming challenge.

Alternatively, seniors who take the time to educate themselves and improve their tech literacy can enjoy benefits like:

  •      Improved connection and communication with others;
  •      Improved cognition;
  •      The ability to make more well-informed choices;
  •      Reduced risks of security threats;
  •      Reduced loneliness and isolation.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways for seniors to stay up-to-date with technology. Whether it’s an in-person or online class, a detailed instructional blog post, or even a YouTube video, seniors who choose to be lifelong learners in the tech world are likely to reap the rewards of that technology in their everyday lives.

How Do Technology Trends Benefit Seniors?

It’s not uncommon for more challenges to come with age. Seniors often have to deal with issues like loneliness, mental and physical health concerns, and even financial worries. While tech literacy can’t eliminate every challenge, it can make some areas of life easier and safer. In addition to some of the benefits listed above, technology trends and new innovations can help seniors maintain a high quality of life while aging in place.

Even in the home, tech trends like smart thermostats and programmable LED lighting can help older individuals live more comfortably and sustainably – even if they’re on a fixed income. Other tech trends that can improve everyday living for the elderly include:

  •      Smart security systems;
  •      Wearable health/fitness trackers;
  •      Medication reminders on smartphones smart speakers;
  •      Voice-activated assistants;
  •      Robotic vacuums.

These might seem like small things to the average person. But, think about the difference a robotic vacuum can make in the life of an older individual with mobility issues. Consider how important (and potentially life-saving) a simple medication reminder can be.

How Can You Bridge the Generational Gap?

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for some seniors to have trouble using technology. That’s why so many of them are assumed to be tech illiterate. In reality, things like little experience or education around technology, potential health and mobility conditions, and even struggles with touch screens can make it difficult for the elderly to implement tech into their daily routine. 

Whether you want to make tech use easier for a parent, grandparent, or any senior in your life, you can bridge the tech gap by helping them set up various IoT devices around their home, and showing them how each one works. Again, seniors aren’t tech illiterate – they just might need some help getting started. You can inspire new thinking in older generations by connecting with them without judgment or a negative bias.

Even if you can’t help the older individuals in your life with things like smart home tech or digital devices, something as simple as communicating with them via text or talking to them weekly on Skype or Zoom can help to boost their confidence in technology, and encourage them to try out other types of tech in their daily lives.

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, more seniors will need to continue to adapt to innovative tech trends. By showing elderly individuals in your life how they can benefit from technology, and encouraging them to boost their tech literacy, you can improve their quality of life and help them realize technology is more accessible than they might have thought.


Written By

Sam Bowman

Sam Bowman writes about people, aging, wellness, and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.

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