Seniors want technology. AARP reported almost three years ago that 73% of 60–69 year olds have smartphones, and that number was over half for the 70+ age range. And adoption is only growing.
Yet many of us still believe seniors are poor souls incapable of learning and using technology.
In an AARP Foundation report, Reducing Social Isolation in Affordable Senior Housing using Voice Assistant Technology, AARP points out this industry-wide technophobia.
While tech adoption among older adults continues to rise, misperceptions about seniors’ interest or ability to adopt new technology is widespread. Inaccurate notions and perceived technophobia can contribute to a reluctance to embrace this approach.
This mindset can get in the way of progress for seniors, especially our most vulnerable.
The Foundation’s mission is to end senior poverty and this particular study set out to see if voice-enabled technology could improve the social connectedness of low-income seniors.
It could. It did. It can.
This tendency to shield or deny seniors (of all economic backgrounds) access to the tools made to connect people is hindering the health and wellbeing of older adults. The results of that study showed that participants overwhelmingly showed decreased signs of loneliness at the end of the project.
So how do we go about introducing technology?
Seniors are ready to use technology. Are you ready to help them get it?