It’s impossible to ignore the changes that have taken place in our society due to the integration of technology.
It has become the way that we communicate, research, and live. So why should the elderly get left behind? Not only is technology useful in ordering door to door services, but communicating with friends and family across the earth becomes easy in a heartbeat.
Articles in many of today’s leading papers have discussed the importance of integrating the elderly into the technological world. Rather than allowing this gap to become bigger and bigger, organizations have formed across the nation that focus on helping seniors become comfortable with using a computer. Just because of their age, does not mean that the aging populations do not know what Facebook or Twitter are. Especially if your elderly parents or grandparents are regular news watchers, such social media sites are often referenced. According to a recent study conducted at Pew Research, only 54 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have access to the internet. While often the costs of machines and services is often a deterrent for seniors in learning about the internet and technology, many seniors also feel that having access to the world wide web has been greatly beneficial to them.
According to some seniors, the internet is a great way to get in touch with people on the other side of the world and create a network of people without ever leaving the home. Often seniors face prejudice against their ability to use technologies like cellphones and iPads, but this is not true. Companies design their products to be user friendly to ALL users, thereby making it easy for anyone of any age to learn how to utilize the interface. Because much of today’s communication happens via email and text messages, by moving towards becoming more technologically savvy seniors are allowing themselves to become more accessible.
Programs like Skype international calling have also enabled families to grow closer. Often at great family gatherings during the holiday season, my whole family will gather around to video-chat with my cousins in Texas. Because my relatives in Texas have young children this makes it difficult for them to travel. Likewise, my grandparents are no longer capable of traveling for long distances. Thus, with the simple click of a few buttons we can all be reconnected, even if it is only through a computer screen.
Technology has much in store for future generations, but it is never too late for today’s seniors to jump in. The advantages are great, and seniors should take advantages of the vast resources that are available.