Do you think that seniors are a bunch of technophobes with neither the skills to work the latest tech nor the willingness to learn it? You can often hear a joke or two about their use of technology. That is the way they are portrayed in the wide stream media, but is it really accurate?
In this post, we are going to prove that the exact opposite is true. It’s time for us to retire that tired old stereotype and admit that retirees are a lot more tech-savvy than we might have previously realized. Don’t believe us? Don’t worry; we don’t expect you to take anything on faith.
The Stats Don’t Lie
People at MedAlertHelp have put together an infographic full of surprising stats. For instance, did you know that 82% of seniors use the internet to gather information? So, don’t be so sure that your gran won’t see that somewhat dodgy pic you posted on Instagram. She might well run a search for her favorite grandchild and come across your pics.
When polled, seniors said they like using the internet because it allows them to find out more about the things that interested them. So that old stereotype about seniors not being able to cope online is something of a misnomer.
Seniors Were Born In A Rapidly Changing World
Now, let’s examine who these seniors are. These would be people born in the late 50s or before. Now, think about all the global change that has occurred in the last six decades. The seniors that we like to laugh at for their “lack” of tech skills were actually those that made major advances in this field.
Think about how business was conducted 50 years ago, before mobile phones, the internet, email, or even fax machines were invented. People actually had to use snail mail to correspond. Go back half the amount of time, and you’ll see people still using telexes and faxes.
The point is that a lot of the innovative tech that we enjoy today had its base in tech developed by those that we now class as seniors. Also, it pays to remember that baby boomers, once considered the most innovative generation, are now moving into their senior years.
Tech Is Becoming Easier to Use
The next point to consider is that tech is becoming a lot easier to use. If you have a smartphone, making a call or running an internet search is as easy as telling your phone’s virtual assistant what you want. Voice recognition software has made the next big step in tech evolution possible. Even faxing has made life more accessible back then, people used fax machines, but now internet fax services can be accessed anytime and anywhere.
We have seen evidence of this in the new smart speakers that are coming out. Amazon’s new Sonos speakers, for example, can help you check the weather, and the traffic, give you directions, etc. And, as Amazon says, new features are being added every day.
Think of the application of voice recognition and smart devices in the home of an elderly person. The system could remind her to take her medicine, remind her about upcoming appointments, and so much more.
She doesn’t even need to find the right button to press. All she would say is, “Hey Google” or “Alexa,” and then tell her virtual assistant what she wants to be done.
Tech Is Making Life Simpler
Now, 10 years ago, we had virtual assistants. They weren’t all that bright, though. You might get the right answer to a question or you might not. Today’s VAs would run rings around their previous incarnations.
But it’s not just the VAs that have improved. Generally, tech has improved too. As a result, technological advancements have improved our lives. In some cases, for example, you can schedule an appointment without ever needing to leave Google. The software that makes this possible can also be used by the VA. This means that tech will become much simpler to use because it will end up being controlled by another tech. Seniors will just have to tell the speaker what they want, and the programming will do the rest.