6 ways technology is helping the lives of over 60s

Technology is being embraced instead of avoided by the over 60 generation, which is good news for technology makers.

Positive ageing advocate Marcus Riley explains the change in habits for the older Australian generation:

“Technology has clearly evolved greatly in recent years and is being used to help enable successful ageing. The once resistant, older generations are engaging with technology to not only help them maintain their quality of life but in some instances, even improve it.” Riley said.

“The use of technology by older generations has enabled gains to be made across various areas of people’s lives including their health and wellbeing, social connectedness, independence, mental stimulation, security and fun.”

Six ways that technology is helping out older Australians include:

1. Supporting preventative and restorative health

The older generations are using technology to support their preventative health activities as well as using technology to maintain their well-being and independence.

Riley explains:

“The popularity in consumer health and fitness wearables and simple devices, offer seniors an empowering way to take their health into their own hands and become actively involved in managing it.

“The data collected on such devices can also be really beneficial for their health practitioners to provide more insightful advice as to exercise regimes, goal setting and dietary intakes.”

2. Tool for social connectivity

There are countless technologies now available for older Australians which can keep them connected with friends, family, as well as groups they may be interested in. This decreases the risk of social isolation.

Riley says:

“The use of social media platforms by older people has been constantly increasing over recent years, indeed the fastest growing age group for use of social media is the group aged 65 years and over.”

3. Fostering independence through the online economy

Older Australians no longer need to worry about who will help them go grocery shopping this week, as online grocery shopping and internet banking is accessible right at their fingertips.

“Statistics show that more than half of older internet users perform banking transactions online (53 percent) and just under half (48 percent) paid bills online and up to four in 10 shop online, so people are certainly adapting and capitalising on these technological advances,” Riley explains.

4. Mental stimulation through learning a new technology

Riley has noticed a rise in senior-preneurs who are using technology to teach themselves new skills as well as conduct business from the convenience of their homes.

“The act of the older generations to simply learn how to use a new technology provides great mental stimulation but furthermore the different apps and programs available for games like Suduko to online courses provide excellent avenues for the over 60s to both explore and delve deeper into areas of interest,” said Riley.

“We’re also witnessing the emergence of senior- preneurs that are conducting business activity through use of IT equipment, software and communication platforms,” he continued.

5. Security and peace of mind for loved ones

New technology advancements mean that those who are caring for a spouse or older family member can utilise different technology aids that are there to help. Riley includes some examples below.

“Activity-based sensors around the home can provide discreet reassurance about a loved one’s movements and activities, providing alerts if needed.” Riley explains.

“Other devices can enable a remote family member, care-giver or emergency response service to provide support either in planned times or in emergency circumstances.”

6. Fun, learning and new engagement

Technology has provided older people with new opportunities to pursue things that they’ve always wanted to do. Whether that be using technology for fun, more learning or engaging with new business or employment opportunities, technology has given the older generation of Australians the opportunity to do so.

Riley speaks of his experiences below:

“New and varied opportunities are being embraced by people for different purposes. Some are using online platforms to study, and research topics of interest be that formal or otherwise.”

However, it’s not all serious.

“For many it’s the fun of playing their favourite board or card games on their device – often against other players to fire up their competitive juices!”

What do you use technology for?

This article originally appeared on Over60.