While some seniors might feel that adapting to the newest trends in technology is unnecessary, the fact of the matter is that there has never been a more beneficial time to reap the benefits of this growing world. To show you, we have compiled the top 6 benefits of seniors using the internet and how to get started.
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 2 understand the concept of a Smartphone and how to implement a few characteristics while a 70 year old might not even know how or where 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, but we here at GT want to help change that with our list of benefits to help you start connecting today.
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 which in turn grows their isolation bubble, putting them at serious risk.
However, by participating in 21st century technology advancements the internet can make these seniors 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 what one can accomplish without it.
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 through Wii 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 of which are available at the press of a button.
According to the attached infographic, adults 50 and up are technologies fastest growing demographic. In fact, over 50% of adult users are 65+. 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 Face Time, and Skype. Through these applications far distant relatives or friends can be seen face to face in an instant bringing a sense of connection that no phone call alone will be able to bring.
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 on the web. If they can’t seem to remember where they bought a specific yarn from they can look up the stores inventory information. If they need to find the store hours or public transportation that is available as well. This access only aids to the positive benefits of diminishing what the majority of retired seniors feel to be isolation or depression while enhancing their accessibility to their community around them.
Easy online banking
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 suitable for most if not all 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 come decreased transportation options leaving online banking a beneficial advancement for any senior citizen to learn.
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. With this push to online connectivity it would be incredibly helpful for seniors to be able to understand technology to at least a point where 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 not only time but natural resources. In this day and age, it is dire 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.
Taking the time to learn these new tricks to be able to connect to your family more often is a desire most elderly wish they could have yet they are unaware of where to begin. Whether it be to learn from tech savvy family members to community classes, learning technology can be difficult. Remember, everything takes time and it’s ok to not grasp the concept at first. As a loved one of an elderly learning or if you’re learning yourself, 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 as increasing type size and changing the colors to a black background with white font on applications such as Kindle, to make reading easier on your eyes.
For more information on where to find assistance for you or a loved one to learn technology please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-t-miller/helping-seniors-learn-new_b_7584758.htmlfor