Since many older adults are apprehensive about using technology, it is important to explain to them the benefits that the internet can bring to their lives. This guide will look at the benefits of technology for seniors and how the elderly benefit from using advanced technologies.
Let’s answer the much-talked-about question: how does technology benefit the elderly?
Regular internet use has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia because it helps improve cognitive functioning and memory skills. Every time an older adult completes a sudoku puzzle online or crossword online, they’re keeping their brain sharp. Learning new technological skills — whether it be figuring out how to use a health portal or post a video on TikTok — also improves mental acumen.
In 2023, more than one in three older adults reported feeling isolated in the past year and said that they have infrequent contact with people outside of their homes. This is a serious concern, as social isolation can increase the risk of premature death to the same degree that smoking and obesity can. The internet represents the possibility to combat this loneliness. Older adults can use social media to contact long-lost friends. They can stay in touch with family members who live far away. They can even find message boards and groups for people with common interests, thereby building community from the comfort of their own home.
Thanks to new technologies, individuals can use smartphones, fitness watches, and other devices to track their vital signs, including oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure. There are also apps that remind people when it is time to take their medicine. Additionally, the internet allows people to easily access health portals, review test results, and schedule appointments with their doctors.
Entertainment and hobbies:
Older adults who have retired may find themselves with more free time than ever before. The internet can open new worlds for them. Is there a rusty guitar in their house that they’ve never used? They can watch YouTube videos and learn how to play. Maybe they’ve always wanted to learn another language and never had time? There’s an app for that. Perhaps they’re interested in yoga or some other form of exercise but are too embarrassed to go to the gym? They can work out from their living room. Of course, there are also countless books, movies, and TV shows online as well. The benefits of technology for seniors are endless.
For older adults with mobility or vision issues, it can be frustrating to feel like they always need to rely on someone to drive them places. Technology, however, has revolutionized this. Let’s say the person needs groceries. Rather than having to coordinate with a family member or neighbor, the person can simply have the groceries delivered to their home via online shopping. Or, should they want to venture out to the store, they can use a ridesharing app to book a trip. Everything is at the touch of their fingertips. In addition, the internet has made living alone become easier even into old age. Voice-activated technologies allow folks to do things like turn on music or raise the temperature through a simple verbal command. Meanwhile, personal monitoring devices with GPS functions and other alert systems, such as fall detection, can bring peace of mind to both older adults and their loved ones.
Do you want to help the older adults in your community connected to the internet? Contact LIFT@communitytechnetwork.org to learn how we can help.