Cyber Seniors – Over Sixty And Social Media Savvy
Written By: Guest Contributor – May• 19•17
At the age of 60 and above, how tech savvy and social media active do you think you will still be?
From their genuine innocence and enthusiasm, we’ve all come across clips and photos of seniors trending all over the internet. But what we see online are snippets OF them, not FROM them. Do you think they’re they even aware of their fifteen seconds of fame?
If used improperly, social media and technology usually get a bad rap for having negative effects on our wellbeing, but what about the group who barely uses it? Their exemption from both the wonders and evils of the internet is actually optional.
It was meant to make everyone’s life easier; not make us miserable. When our elders ask for help or start showing interest, rather than getting impatient about teaching them the basics and intricacies of the internet, let’s encourage them. On the other hand…
Stats on Cyber Seniors
Advancements that may threaten our life’s longevity can do the opposite, especially for the older adults. Three out of five older adults are already cell phone owners, but aren’t smart phones and serve just the basic purpose of being able to make and receive calls. On the other hand, 28% of them are already familiar with and use tablets Kindles, eBooks or Nooks for reading or accessing sites that cater to seniors.
According to Pew Research statistics, 6 out of 10 seniors actually go online on a regular basis with 77% still needing help with walking through the vast online world.
Older adults may be slower to adopt to new technology, but they’re definitely proving that if the young ones can do it, so can they. This is proof of seniors breaking the stereotype that they’re too afraid or stubborn to give new technology a try.
Research reveals that seniors who get online have better mental capabilities than those who refuse to connect digitally. For people their age, internet use reduces their risks of developing depression and dementia.
Also try to introduce them to applications that promote physical wellness. Teach them how to use a digital pedometer so they’re more motivated to squeeze more steps in their daily routines.
There are even games that make it easy for grandma and grandpa to join in on the fun. Keep an eye on them though, and make sure they don’t exhaust themselves while trying to beat each others’ high scores.
Keeping up with the (Grand) Kids
No one’s forcing grandma to setup accounts on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, but if she wants to, let her connect. This may be just what she needs to overcome loneliness that most, if not all, seniors experience.
Those who live in retirement or nursing homes will have the freedom of contacting loved ones on their own. Phone calls turn to video calls and Facetime sessions, while letters convert to emails and instant messaging. This also makes it easier for them to reach their healthcare providers.
Around this age, seniors may suffer from at least one chronic pain or illness. These may range from diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. It’s nothing to be ashamed of since these pains are merely a part of growing old.
Those with a hint of Alzheimer’s can use technology to their advantage by setting up apps with built-in trackers, reminders and notifications.
Digitally hook them up to apps that track health statistics, medical aids and monitoring systems. Technology has made it so much easier for them to get help at the push of a button. Even if their phones are locked, there are features that will allow rescuers to access critical information.
Online shopping may not be their biggest priority once they have internet access, but there are definitely products they can significantly benefit from. Grandma and grandpa can have some fun too.
Receiving care and support in the comfort of their own homes has never been easier.
Can you imagine how much more difficult it is for our parents and grandparents to adjust? As a millennial, I admit to still having times where technology greatly frustrates me. Despite the fact that my generation (Y) is considered one of the most tech-savvy, there are gadgets and gizmos that continue to confuse us.
Even with easy accessibility features, there will still be seniors who find technology physically challenging no matter what. iPad training centers and training courses are even available for people in the 60 and up demographic. Some seniors just refuse to plug in to the present despite the resources available to them, claiming that they don’t need to do what the younger generations are doing.
Are you ready to teach grandma and grandpa how to use Skype yet? But first, teach them the art of the selfie.