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This video of two older adults trying to figure out their computer’s webcam was an internet sensation a few years ago. It’s a charming and funny video, but it also highlights the growing popularity of technology among seniors.

There are numerous benefits when seniors and technology come together, but the learning curve of how to use the latest gadgets can sometimes be challenging.

Seniors see advantages to keeping up with technology

While seniors are generally considered “late adopters” for most technology, more and more older people are beginning to embrace the digital age. According to new data from Statistics Canada, Older Canadians represent the fastest-growing segments of internet users nationwide.

The survey titled Canadians at Work and Home found online activity among those aged 65 to 74 climbed 16 percentage points between 2013 and 2016. Participants were asked if they used the internet “at least a few times during the month preceding the survey.”

That growth was closely followed among people aged 75 and older, whose internet use jumped 15 percentage points over the same three-year period.

Toronto-based technology expert Avery Swartz said rising adoption among seniors is likely spurred by more intuitive, easy-to-use technology hitting the marketplace in recent years.

Another recent study by Pew Research on seniors’ use of technology reveals several interesting trends about how many seniors are using the latest gadgets and tools. A few of the perks seniors experience with their technology usage:

* Having access to a computer and the internet allows older adults to keep up-to-date on news and current events, play brain-stimulating games (my own mother loves Words with Friends), and research the latest information on topics from medical conditions to travel to healthy recipes.

* Email and social media sites like Facebook help seniors stay in touch with each other as well as family; in fact, over a quarter of seniors are utilizing these sites, according to Pew.

* Tools like Skype and Apple’s FaceTime allow seniors to actually see friends and loved ones who may live far away.

* Highly portable tablets (like iPads) and e-books (like Kindles) are increasingly popular with the older set and can be helpful for aging eyes as a book’s text is brighter and can be magnified if needed.

* Smartphones are a convenient way for seniors to stay connected via voice, email, or text. And more and more seniors are trading in their old flip-phones for a new smartphone.

Bridging the technology generation gap with Senior Connect™

It’s apparent that a growing number of older adults are ready and willing to jump on the technology bandwagon. But as evidenced in the earlier viral video of the grandparents trying to video chat, learning how to use computers and smartphones isn’t always second-nature to seniors. Some find it intimidating or just plain frustrating. Others are eager to learn how to use the devices but are concerned about the associated costs.

Senior Connect™ is a cost effective revolutionary technology that allows seniors to age in place independently. It is an all-in-one tablet that was built with seniors in mind. Senior Connect™ replaces a computer, iPad and other devices that many seniors struggle with and helps them stay engaged with their family and friends; assists with monitoring chronic health issues and daily living needs; and can also allow family to monitor a loved one from a distance so that they can age in place. When required, Senior Connect™ can send alerts to family members or caregivers and generates reports on the data it collects that can be shared with health care providers.

Whatever its perceived shortcomings, technology offers endless possibilities for facilitating social connection – not as a replacement for human contact, but as a vehicle for developing and reinforcing relationships.

And it’s never too late to start. Senior Connect™ can allow you to stay connected with family and friends no matter where they are. Even if you can’t be in the same room, this encrypted video chat service can help lessen the distance between loved ones!

To learn more about Senior Connect™ visit www.seniorconnect365.com.  To learn more about the other services provided by Full Circle Home Care, visit www.fullcirclehomecare.com.

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