- Including older adults in technological advances is key to achieving a comprehensive improvement in society.
- Older adults are very valuable and we must ensure that they are not left behind in technological progress.
- In the US, a CDC study says that a third of adults over 65 do not use the Internet and 44 percent do not use a PC.
As technology advances and becomes more complex, many older adults find themselves left behind and isolated from society due to their inability to adapt to the pace of change.
While it is important to recognize the value of technology in improving our lives and making them simpler, it is equally key to recognize the value of older adults in society and how they, too, can benefit from the advances.
The latest report on the subject of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States shows precisely that older adults are increasingly isolated due to the inability to adapt to technological changes. Even more so, after the pandemic.
The CDC found that about one-third of adults over the age of 65 do not use the Internet and 44 percent do not use a PC. This lack of access to technology leaves many of the elderly isolated and unable to stay connected with family, friends and the outside world.
That happens in the United States, but the data can surely be extrapolated to other countries in the world. Even with even more serious results.
Answers for Seniors
In response to this problem, organizations are taking steps to bridge the digital divide by offering programs and services to help older adults become more comfortable with technology.
An example is the TechConnect program of the AARP Foundationwhich offers free virtual technical tutoring, computer classes and other resources in the US to help adults connect.
Another example is the one that comes from Spain, where two young people created a smartphone focused on older adults.
This is Jorge Terreu (24 years old), a computer engineer who lives in Zaragoza and whose 92-year-old grandmother inspired him to work on an automatic telephony project.
The initiative is calledMaximilian”, like Grandma.
An interesting fact about the project is that for the project’s social media strategy, the entrepreneur hired the grandmother of his partner Pedro Malo Perisé. That’s right, Conchita, 82, is in charge of promoting the product digitally.
Terreu told the Argentine media TN: “I traveled to France to complete my studies and it was very difficult for me to contact my grandmother Maximiliana because she did not know how to make video calls, she played too many keys and cut herself off. So I thought that technology could be an ally. I created a prototype and gave him the phone as a gift. Everything changed and we understood that beyond personal experience, there are many older people who live alone and need to guarantee communication”.
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