Tech trends in senior living: Older adults enhance their lifestyles with exciting technology
Numerous recent studies show that technology usage among older adults age 50+ continues to climb in some areas you’d expect—home computers, laptops, smartphones—and in other areas you just might find surprising—virtual reality, home assistant devices, and smart T.V.s.
You can imagine the impact this is having on the American economy. The AARP predicts that by 2030, nearly 132 million Americans age 50+ will spend upwards of $84 billion a year on technology products. The AARP’s colorful infographic tells the story by the numbers.
Does this continued quest for technology and its benefits say something about the lifestyle goals of older adults? It certainly does. The following predominant areas are increasingly important in the lives of today’s adults, age 50+ and their pursuit of these lifestyle elements is helping close the technology gap between older and younger generations while bringing true enrichment to senior lifestyles:
- Staying in touch with family and friends. This is the primary reason for an ever-increasing surge in smartphone, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram usage among older Americans. They want “Grandkids On-Demand,” so to speak, and no longer is it just the youngsters who have the latest gadgets. Increased usage of social media by older adults has interesting advantages, as well, when it comes to cognition.
- Enriching their lives through education. As older adults become more comfortable with technology, they find their devices are a great way to harness the vast powers of self-improvement through online classes for certificates, degrees or for the simple pleasure of lifelong learning.
- Enhancing day-to-day living at home. Virtual personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google HOME have revolutionized the home experience for one in seven older adults. These devices and their potential are expected to facilitate even greater opportunities for independence, self-management, and the overall well-being of older adults in the future.
- Increasing their opportunities for entertainment—and travel—at home. Think of it: a trip to the beach while sitting in your easy chair. How about an afternoon exploring Brazil? Or a trip to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello? Older adults today are discovering personal enrichment through virtual reality goggles. In fact, the popular Virtual Reality Program at Dallas Retirement Village gives residents the opportunity to experience—in 3D—not only famous travel destinations, but also exotic animals, waterfalls, mountains, and more. This program adds so much joy and enhancement to residents’ lives thanks to the experience and enthusiasm of Life Enrichment Director Hilary Boyce and her dedicated staff.
Half of older Americans today also own a smart T.V. (one that is digital and internet-connected), and it’s reported that 9 million more people plan to buy one within a year, remarkably increasing the entertainment value of this important home amenity.
If there’s a challenge or concern among older adults using technology, it’s still privacy and security. Nearly 1 in 5 indicates they have low confidence in their safety online. What this concern has done, however, is increase the opportunity to provide more education to older adults, specifically on safe tech practices. More and more of these services are being developed and made available every year.
As a resident-centered community, Dallas Retirement Village focuses on the wants and needs of those who live here. Our residents are progressive. Innovation and technology are important to them. We look forward to continued innovation as we assist our residents in meeting the evolving demands of senior living for years to come.
Call (503) 623-5581 for a personal tour today. Experience the Dallas Retirement Village lifestyle for yourself—visit us soon!
In closing, here’s an outstanding video treat that pays homage to smart home technology. Enjoy NBC’s Saturday Night Live cast as they parody life with ALEXA!