Community engagement has a significant impact on healthy aging. Technology provides an avenue for seniors to connect with their social network, and access information and services in their area. There is so much potential to engage seniors through technology in their own homes. Through community partners we can help to educate seniors on current technologies, and promote the innovation of age-friendly technology that is simple and easy to use for someone with no computer experience.
According to Statistics Canada, seniors use the Internet the least, but are the fastest growing online group. Boomers (aged 45-64) use the Internet frequently to research health information and retirement planning resources, and are more likely to use the Internet as a source of information as well as a social and recreational tool.
Seniors (aged 65 or older) who are online are more likely to play online games and be members of online communities.
Of the seniors who are not yet using the internet, less than 5% plan to start using the internet in the next five years. Of the seniors who do not plan to go online, 31% mention their age as a reason.
Education and awareness is the best way to help the sometimes skeptical seniors to gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to embrace the technology that can ultimately enable their independence and healthy living as they age.
-Jennifer Kazmaier RN