While some seniors might feel that adapting to the newest trends in technology is unnecessary, there has never been a more beneficial time to reap the benefits of this growing world. Here are the top 6 benefits of seniors using the internet and how to get started.
Why Use Technology?
With our fast paced world continuously growing, it’s hard not to notice the significant gap between generations that is larger than ever before. Children as young as two years old understand the concept of a smartphone and how to use it, while a 70-year-old might not even know how to find the keyboard to make a call.
With our newest generations being raised around this enhancing technology growing side by side, it has created a relationship of knowledge that not even some middle aged people understand. It’s the environmental differences in which the current generation in comparison to how our grandparents were raised that creates this ever growing gap. Here are six reasons you should close that gap.
1. Tech Helps Eliminate Isolation
One of the most concerning things about an aging loved one is the isolation they tend to endure and the heightened health risks because of it. In fact, isolated elders have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than their more social counterparts and a 45% increase in their risk for death. It is even known through previous studies that this loneliness can spread within themselves, making them behave in particular ways that repel any assistance around them. This in turn grows their isolation bubble, putting them at serious risk.
By participating technology advancements, such as the internet, seniors can feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. From joining groups online to finding the nearest quilting club meeting, the World Wide Web serves as a communication and information line to extend one’s reach from far beyond your home.
2. Tech Reduces Depression
In addition to reducing the feeling of isolation, stimulating the mind and body online activities have actually been proven to greatly reduce depression boosting a brain’s cognitive longevity. It is through this invigorating technology that one can take advantage of the recreational and exercise benefits through games and activities available on YouTube, Pinterest, or even console games to increase one’s mental and physical well being. There are even cognitive games to increase memory, health tracking options, and medication management assistance–all available at the press of a button.
3. Tech Builds Stronger Bonds
Adults 50 and up are technologies fastest growing demographic. In fact, over 50% of adult users are 65 plus. Although no form of technology will ever be able to fully compare to in-person interaction, it definitely is the next best thing. While visits with friends and family can seem far overdue, seniors are able to keep up to date with updated information through social media outlets such as Facebook.
Technology also offers direct instant messaging, and one-on-one exposure through options such as FaceTime and Zoom. These applications distant relatives or friends face-to-face in an instant, bringing a sense of connection that no phone call can bring.
4. Tech Creates Easier Access to the Outside World
With knowledge of internet access, seniors will have the ability to search whatever they could possibly need right from the comfort of their own home. From shopping for food to shopping for clothes, the possibilities are endless online. If they can’t seem to remember where they bought a specific yarn, they can look up the store’s inventory information. They can also easily find store hours or public transportation. This access only aids to the positive benefits of diminishing isolation or depression, while enhancing seniors’ access to the community.
5. Tech Makes Online Banking Easy
With mailed detailed monthly statements becoming far and few, many banks have turned to paperless options involving online accessibility. Many have their very own applications for most smartphone’s or tablets, making in-branch banking a thing of the past. With direct deposit and online capabilities, transfers, direct deposits, and statements, banking has transformed into a whole new era in money management. With increased age comes decreased transportation options, leaving online banking a beneficial advancement for any senior citizen to learn.
6. Paperless Social Security Benefits
In 2011, the U.S Social Security Administration stopped mailing benefit statements creating an online accessible only option. Following this paperless route, in 2013 the agency stopped mailing paper-based information all together, including checks requiring direct deposit options only. This means that it’s incredibly helpful for seniors to be able to understand technology so they can keep on track with their social security benefits.
With pushes such as the Social Security Benefits, it comes to no surprise that many businesses–including government agencies–have decided to hop on board the online tracking train to save time and natural resources. In this day and age, it’s important to at least know the basics of technology. From internet access, to checking your online banking, the internet can do far more than just help one’s financial well-being, it can enhance your mental and emotional state as well.
Learning How to Use Tech Is Worth Your Time
Most times seniors want to learn how to use technology, but it’s hard to know where to begin. Whether you learn from tech-savvy family members or community classes, learning technology can be difficult.
Remember, everything takes time, and it’s okay to not grasp the concept at first. Ask someone to show you step-by step tutorials. If you have arthritis, maybe a tablet or an over sized keyboard would be more adequate for you. If your eyesight is poor, larger interface options are available as well. Many of these allow you to increasing type size or change the colors, making reading easier on your eyes.
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