Technology and the Senior Citizen

As our business here has been increasing our internet presence, I have been thinking more and more about how our residents use their technology.  I found it interesting to note that there is quite a large range of usage within our community, from not at all, up to daily dependence on it.

According to the Brookings Institute, seniors spend most of their time online communicating with friends, shopping, and searching for health information.  Nearly seventy-one percent of those who use the internet go online almost every day. Many of the internet using seniors believe that “people without internet access are at a real disadvantage because of all the information they might be missing,” Most of them think that “the internet makes it much easier to find information today than in the past.” In a research study at Loughborough University, older adults reported that being online gave them more social support. They also reported feeling more mentally alert, challenged, useful, and younger.

Only 27% of senior adults use social media (46% of online seniors) even though online connections may enhance their social interactions and reduce isolation. Also, 81% of those seniors who report using social media say they socialize with others on a daily or near-daily basis (compared to 71% of those who are online but do not use social networking sites and 63% of seniors who are not online at all).

Here at Twin Lakes, we have tried to create more opportunities for social media interactions with our residents through our Facebook page, Youtube Videos, and this website with its blog posts and community forum page that invites users to participate.

Last November, a documentary called “Cyber Seniors” aired on a PBS channel that explored the interactions of seniors and technology.  The trailer is below:

If you would like to watch the whole thing, click the link below

Cyber Seniors on PBS