10 Senior Technology Trends
The days of room-sized computers, black and white TVs, and landlines with long cords, so you could move around, were over a long time ago, and over the years, technology has continued to change at a rapid rate. Today, we all rely on modern technology in some form, regardless of age, and it’s interesting to see how seniors have responded and opened up to new technology. Gone are the stereotypes of older adults being so set in their ways that they shun new technology and refuse to try new things. Today’s seniors are responding to new technology with open arms. Below are some of the top trends for seniors’ using modern technology.
Trend #1 – Seniors are relying on their smartphones.
According to the Pew Research Center, 79% of those aged 50 – 64 and 53% of those aged 65 and older own smartphones. Smartphones make it easy for people to communicate, and they are great devices for seniors because there are so many useful apps, including apps for nutrition and fitness, shopping, medication management, audiobooks, entertainment, and cognitive stimulation.
Trend #2 – Seniors are wearing their technology.
There are many options available for wearable technology. A fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit, can help you keep track of your steps and monitor your sleep patterns. A study by Project Catalyst, in conjunction with AARP, found that 77% of their participants reported activity and sleep trackers to be useful or to potentially be useful. A smartwatch, such as the Apple watch, can call emergency services and provide your doctors or caregivers with medical information. There are also watches with built-in blood pressure monitors. Some wearable devices include a GPS location feature, which is great for seniors who have dementia.
Trend #3 – Seniors are active on social media.
Using social media is a fun way for seniors to stay in touch with friends and family. According to the Pew Research Center, 40% of those aged 65 and older use social media. This has increased exponentially over the years, with 35% of seniors using social media in 2015 and 12% in 2010.
Seniors’ social media use varies greatly according to the platform. For example, 46% of seniors who use social media use Facebook, and 38% use YouTube, but only 8% use Instagram, and 7% use Twitter, and a miniscule 3% use Snapchat.
Trend #4 – Seniors are using tablets.
Pew Research Data shows that 32% of seniors own tablets, and these devices are becoming more popular with older adults. Tablets come in handy for accessing social media, websites, and a variety of apps designed to entertain you and make life easier. You can do many of the same things on a tablet that you can do on your phone, but the screen is larger, which makes it easier to read. This is a bonus for those who have low vision.
Trend #5 – Seniors are streaming content.
Approximately 49% of adults aged 65 and up subscribe to streaming services, such as Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video. There are also music streaming services available, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Apple Music Unlimited. And if you want to listen to some podcasts, you can use a podcast app, such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts to find the content you want.
Trend #6 – Seniors are starting to use smart home technology.
According to an AARP national survey, only 10% of adults aged 50 and older use smart home technology, but 50% are interested in using this technology. Of those older adults, 59% wanted to use it to monitor their front doors, 42% wanted to monitor the thermostat, and 38% wanted to use it for emergency help.
Smart home technology refers to appliances or equipment that you can control with your smartphone or tablet. This technology is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a connected web of electronic devices that work through the Internet. Approximately 90% of American homes already have this type of equipment. This technology allows you to automatically turn off appliances, change your thermostat without touching it, monitor your home’s security, use sensors to turn your lights on and off, and see who is at the front door.
Trend #7 – Seniors are using voice-activated home assistants and smart speakers.
You can use voice-activated home assistants, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, to operate a variety of IoT appliances and electronic equipment around your home. You can also use these devices to do every-day tasks, such as finding a recipe, playing music, checking the weather, or answering just about any question you may have. These devices are especially useful for those who are wheelchair-bound or have mobility limitations.The Statista Research Department reports that the number of seniors who use smart speakers increased by 36.3% between 2017 and 2018, and that number is expected to continue to grow.
Trend #8 – Seniors are paying bills online.
According to ACI Worldwide and Aite Group, there is a growing trend of paying bills online, with 42% of seniors claiming they pay at least some of their bills online. Of these seniors, 60% pay through individual merchants’ websites, and 39% pay through their banks’ websites.
Trend #9 – Seniors are shopping online.
A study by BigCommerce found that 28% of seniors prefer shopping online over offline. When you need to buy something, whether it’s groceries, household items, or gifts for your family, it is usually easy to find what you want online. By shopping online, you can also avoid crowds, long lines, and traffic, as you shop in the convenience of your home.
Trend #10 – Seniors Will Learn New Technology with a Purpose.
According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, seniors are more open to learning new technology if they see a purpose in it. Seniors who see technology as a way to solve a problem or meet a need are more likely to take time to learn new things. For example, a senior who has grandchildren in a different state may want to use social media to communicate with them. A senior who is concerned about home security may be more likely to have a smart doorbell installed. And a senior with limited mobility may find online shopping easier than going to stores.
Today’s older adults are receptive to modern technology, as they learn and adapt to changes in technology that can make their lives easier. While some high-tech devices may seem like a luxury for some people, some devices, such as smartphones have become a must-have for most seniors. And with the current trends, seniors will rely more and more on new technology over time.
Technology Resources for Seniors
There are several types of Apple Watches available. This website allows you to learn more about each one and compare the different models so you can choose the one that’s best for you.
You can learn about the features and benefits of Fitbit products on their website. It also has an online quiz you can take to find out which model is right for you.
If you’re in the market for a medical alert system, check out this article for product reviews and pricing before making a purchase.
You can use this tablet to interact on social media, control your smart appliances, shop and pay your bills online, and stream content. The large screen size makes it a great choice for watching movies.
If you are thinking of buying an iPad, this information on Apple’s website can help you compare models, learn about the available features, and choose a device.
Hulu is a popular streaming service. You can use this link to try hulu for free for one month, and if you like the service, you can subscribe for $5.99 per month.
Netflix allows you to stream movies, TV shows, original content, and documentaries. With this link, you can try it free for one month. Subscription rates vary.
This service allows you to watch TV shows, movies, and Amazon Originals, and it is included with the Amazon Prime membership. You can try it free for one month.
Spotify allows you to stream millions of songs over your devices. There is a free version, as well as a premium one that offers more features.
Apple Music is a subscription service that allows you to stream music over your devices. There is a monthly fee, but you can try it for free.
This link takes you to Best Buy’s website, where you can find out more information about different types of smart home products, such as doorbells and surveillance equipment, Wi-Fi thermostats, smart lighting, and smart speakers.
This link connects you to articles with product information on different types of smart home equipment, including video doorbells, lighting, security cameras and locks, thermostats, and smart plugs and switches for your home.
With the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, you can ask your personal assistant, Alexa, to play music, set an alarm, answer questions, read the news, and control your smart home devices.
This first-generation smart speaker is a great entry-level option for those who want a smart speaker but don’t want to spend a lot of money. This device works with many popular streaming services.
You can sign up on the Rakuten website to find deals and receive cash back on many of your online purchases.
With RetailMeNot, you can find online deals and savings from popular retailers, such as Macy’s, HSN, Party City, Office Max, Amazon, Door Dash, IKEA, Old Navy, and many more.
This U.S. News & World Report article provides information on how to keep your personal and bank account information safe while using online banking services.
The National Cyber Security Alliance provides you with information on shopping online safely. This includes tips on preventing malware on your devices, creating secure passwords, and using secure versus public Wi-Fi.