Technology Helps Older Adults Stay Connected

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Home Instead Senior Care Offers Tips on How to Address Challenges and Help Loved Ones Embrace Technology

Now more than ever, older adults are using technology to stay connected with family, friends and society. In fact, a study by Pew Research Center found that roughly two-thirds of adults age 65 and older report using the internet and nearly 42% own a smart phone, up from just 18% in 2013.

“Staying up-to-date with technology can be extremely valuable for older adults,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. “Whether using a device to video chat with loved ones, schedule online appointments or catch up on current events, it’s now easier than ever to be connected to the world from the comfort of your own home.”

In addition to remaining socially connected, technology can provide significant benefits for older adults, making life easier and more enjoyable. For example, seniors are now able to access bank statements and pay bills online, order groceries to be delivered, fill prescriptions remotely and even stay mentally and physically active with the help of countless apps.

However, as digital adoption grows, some older adults still face challenges using devices and adjusting to regular changes and updates. In fact, the study by Pew Research Center also found that nearly half of seniors rely on the help of a loved one to set up or teach them how to use a new electronic device.

Home Instead recommends the following tips to help older adults embrace technology:

  • Ease into things. Help expand your loved one’s use of technology through devices they are already comfortable with. For instance, if Mom uses a cell phone only to make calls, show her how texting can be personal, quick and discrete.
  • Appeal to the heart — not the mind — to demonstrate the benefits of technology. If your loved one is hesitant to adopt new technology, provide examples of how it can help them stay in touch with the people they care about. For instance, show how social networking sites allow them to see the latest photos of friends and family.
  • Choose the right device. Studies show older adults are more comfortable with tablet computers and e-book readers than with smartphones – in part due to age-related limitations, such as arthritic fingers, that can make smaller gadgets difficult to operate. In this case, a tablet with a touch screen may be easier to use than a smartphone that requires precise manipulation to operate.
  • Recruit the grandkids to help. The role reversal involved in teaching your parent a new skill may cause tension in your relationship. One way to avoid this is by involving younger generations. Grandchildren may not have to overcome this constraint, and they’re likely to be more technologically savvy.
  • Exercise patience. It may take time for a loved one to become familiar with new technology. Be patient and encourage them to continue using the device on a regular basis in order to build new skills.

To learn more about Home Instead, please visit https://www.homeinstead.com/

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 70 million hours of care annually throughout the United States, Canada and 10 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 80,000 CAREGivers worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Dan Wieberg
Home Instead Senior Care
+1 (402) 575-5970
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