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The Senior-Friendly Guide to Living In the Digital World

senior couple using computer

Technology has completely changed the way we communicate, work, shop, and stay entertained. Your grandkids are taking a “selfie” in the living room. Your son is raving about the all-electric sports car that he just bought. One of your cousins is pestering you to make a Facebook account so she can keep in touch, even though she lives four states away. Have you experienced anything like this recently?

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, seniors lag behind younger Americans when adopting technology. 41% of seniors are offline, 53% don’t have broadband internet, and 23% of seniors don’t have a cell phone at all. But it doesn’t mean that young people are the only ones that can be tech-savvy. You can too!

There are so many great advantages to getting online. Here’s Alert1’s senior guide to living in the digital world.

The Internet is Amazing

website zoomed with magnifying glass

The Internet is more than cat videos and funny pictures. Although it may seem unnecessary, or even intimidating, the Internet contains an entire world of knowledge, resources, and entertainment.

Here are some ways to make the Internet senior-friendly and accessible.

Adjust the basic settings

If you find the text too small to read or the audio too low to hear, don’t worry! There are options built into the computer and browser that can automatically increase the size of the words on the screen, increase the screen’s brightness, or make the audio louder.

Learn the terms

Do you know what “cookies,” “buffering,” or a “cache” is? These are some words that may seem familiar to Millennials who grew up with the Internet. But some seniors may have never heard of these terms before. Make things a little easier for yourself by making a cheat sheet of hard-to-remember Internet terminology.

Get tutored

There are many devoted tutors who teach the elderly how to use the Internet at a comfortable pace. Some local organizations offer courses if you want to get back in the classroom. Or, try calling your beloved children or nephews and nieces! You can spend quality time with the family while learning an exciting new subject.

Be a Social Media Wizard

social media website

More and more seniors have become avid users of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. According to the Pew Research Center, about half of online seniors are regular users of social media. This number is expected to increase as Baby Boomers retire and live longer and healthier.

There are so many great things about stepping into the world of social media. Here are the top reasons how social media can improve your life:

Keep in touch with family and friends

Chances are, your kids, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren are on social media right now. You can see the digital lives of your loved ones and keep up with their accomplishments. You can congratulate your nephew on the new job offer he just received. You can see your grandniece’s first steps caught on video. Social media can share precious moments that could otherwise become lost or stored someplace no one would see.

Read, watch, or listen to hours of entertainment

When you start up your Facebook or Twitter account, there's a lot for you to discover. You’ll find people to add to your friends list, people to follow, and publications to read. Watch your feed become full of photos, videos, and articles of everything you love. Rediscover that music album you forgot you liked. Or read endless blog posts on the model train hobby you picked up a couple months ago. Whatever your passion is, there is content about it waiting for you to discover.

Engage in conversation

When you go online, you can explore the passions of your life and meet others with the same interest. You can find a fan club of others who enjoy restoring American muscle cars. Or you can find a community of seniors who love baking as much as you do. For every passion, you can meet others and share your special knowledge.

Live in a Smart Home

alert1 wireless medical alert system

Baby Boomers are the second-largest generation of Americans next to Millennials. In the upcoming years, the limited population of family caregivers may not be able to keep up with the demands of retiring Baby Boomers.

Smart home technology is assistive tech that helps seniors live longer and safer in the home. This can help with the aging in place process so that you do not need to move to a nursing home. Here are some of the top advancements in smart home technology that will help seniors live longer and happier:

  • Medical Alert Systems: Medical alerts equip aging adults with an emergency button so they can get quick help in the event of a fall or injury. Alert1 is a leading provider of quality, affordable medical alert systems. You can find one to fit your lifestyle, whether you’re always on-the-go or staying at home.
  • Automation: Home technology can help with memory issues. Modern technology can seem like magic when it can automatically turn off a stove, turn off the lights at night, or dispense your exact medications throughout the day.
  • Video Monitoring: High-definition video cameras can monitor inside and outside the home for safety and security. Advanced monitoring technology can also let family caregivers keep in touch remotely. Even when a caregiver can’t be there, smart homes will keep you safe and secure.

Become a Tech-Savvy Senior

senior using laptop

The Internet has changed the world. More and more seniors are making the jump into the digital world and immersing themselves in a new world of knowledge and entertainment. Get connected to your loved ones and discover content from around the world, all from the comfort of your home. By making use of these tips of Alert1’s senior-friendly guide to the digital world, you can change the way you live today!