COVID-19 forced seniors to become acquainted with technology in order to stay up-to-date on important news, health information, friends, and family. They had to learn how to use face-time or Zoom, social media, and news apps. Before the pandemic, seniors were often associated with the stereotype of being “behind” on technology or refusing to adapt to it.
In four separate studies and surveys done in the United States, Canada, Singapore, and British Columbia, that stereotype was shattered and showed the global feat of older adults (ages 60+) adapting to technology during the pandemic.
Before COVID-19, many seniors were hesitant to adapt to technology due to various reasons (lack of knowledge or confidence, privacy concerns, etc.). Even when they did engage with technology, it was out of necessity for health concerns and information. But, because of the connectivity that technology offered them during isolation, their attitude towards tech slowly began to change. Now, an overwhelming majority of seniors view technology positively.
Socialization was among the leading factors that drove seniors to adapt to technology. Around the globe, older adults were cut off from the outside world and had limited options in the way of socializing with others. To combat loneliness and the potential mental health consequences, seniors turned to technology. The study in British Columbia concluded that “web-based socialization [was] the most promising method for mitigating potential mental health effects.” Seniors found online communities and virtual interaction beneficial to their mental health and gave them a place to go for comfort.
Some seniors even began adopting new technologies during the pandemic. In the survey done in the United States, ownership of new devices such as smart TVs, home assistants (Alexa, Amazon’s Echo), tablets, and smartphones went up, with 53% of those surveyed now owning tablets, a 13% increase from 2019.
To continue this increase in tech adoption in the future, companies need to develop technology with seniors in mind.
Wellzesta allowed seniors to stay connected to their friends, family, and community during the pandemic within a centralized platform and continues to support users today. Wellzesta Life’s user-friendly technology lets residents navigate the app with ease.
Life continues to offer engaging Events, inspiring wellness content, and streamlined communication in order to keep residents connected and engaged with technology.
Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.