Friday, 11 July 2014

Seniors and Technology

It seems that seniors are well on the way to embracing technology. Statistics Canada has determined that over 30% of seniors aged 75+ are online; up from 5% in the year 2000.

This is great news on several fronts. It seems that those that are online, find that it helps them stay 'socially connected', enabling them to maintain contact with friends and family who may be a great physical distance away. While some are using email and even Facebook to connect, others benefit from programs such as Skype that allows them to talk and see a person at the same time. A 'virtual visit' can decrease isolation and help maintain relationships.

As well, many find it helpful to use a computer to stay connected to the world at large when they are able to navigate websites and news feeds. And still others use virtual gaming systems that pick up movement, as a way to stay physically active especially in the winter months. Several retirement homes even have these game systems for residents to use and find that residents (and their grandchildren) love them.

Many seniors are looking at technology as as way to stay independent and with their familiarity with computers, many may be one day able to use new devices being developed to stay healthy and remain in their homes with 'virtual support' through tools that detect changes in gait or movement, medication reminders and other functions.

For those who wish to try out programs or tools but are reluctant for fear that they may not know how to work it properly, it might be helpful to speak to others who use what you are interested in trying out for some instruction or helpful tips.Start slowly and don't be afraid of the unknown. Gaining skills with technology is sure to open up a realm of possibilities!

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