The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s lives in countless ways. One impact the pandemic had is convincing elderly adults to become nimble with technology. In recognition of this, a growing number of tech companies are focused on catering to the needs of older adults.
For many elderly adults, using technology to shop and interact with others is an efficient way to combat isolation as well as loneliness. To marketers, wealthy elderly adults are an attractive demographic which is why they’re tailoring more services to them.
One recent news report even named the elderly as a popular consumer trend in 2022.
Elderly Individuals and Digital Habits
Among elderly adults who are sixty years of age and older, 60% of this group visit social media sites at least once a week. Meanwhile, 21% of this group play video games, and 82% own a smartphone. One recent study determined that 7 in 10 seniors between the ages of 65 to 74 were interested in using augmented reality (ADR) or virtual reality (VR) headsets to pursue a hobby. 40% of elderly individuals are interested in using the digital world for activities like home decorating, watching sporting events or concerts, or upgrading home maintenance skills.
The Role of the Age Tech Collaborative
The American Association of Retired Person (AARP) currently funds an accelerator program, the Age Tech Collaborative, to fund startups that develop products for elderly adults. Located at the junction between longevity and technology, AgeTech includes various products that contribute to living longer and healthier lives. Some of the companies that comprise AgeTech Collaborative’s portfolio, include LitesSpirits, which makes a type of mental health video game that benefits those living in retirement homes.
The Pandemic and Technology
As a result of the pandemic, companies that sell traditional medic alert buttons have greatly expanded their services. Customers began activating the buttons more frequently after the pandemic because they either want someone to talk to after being in isolation for an extended period or needed assistance with finding a physician, handyman, or plumber.
Consequently, companies like LifeStation have begun to offer concierge style-menus to elderly adults who have been cut off from normal activities. These menus can include things like rides to the doctor’s office or contacting family members to arrange phone conversations.
Advice on Helping an Elderly Loved One with Technology
By following some basic advice, you can help your elderly loved ones learn and improve the way they use technology. Some helpful tips you can follow include:
- Be patient with the elderly loved one. Try to appreciate what it would be like if you suddenly needed to learn a new and difficult subject.
- Set goals about what your elderly loved one can do in a reasonable period.
- Avoid complex technology language when teaching your loved one.
- After you teach your loved one how to use technology, make sure to check in on them routinely to see how they’re doing.
Contact a Seasoned Elder Law Attorney
If you or a loved one needs assistance with any aspect of elder law, one of the best things that you can do is contact a knowledgeable elder law attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.