Seniors and Technology; How can you Benefit

If you remember talking on rotary phones, listening to shows sitting by the radio, watching black and
white tv with antennas and your only form of correspondence was through the written “snail mail”,
this article is for you.

Technology has advanced so quickly over the last 50 years it is difficult to keep track and stay on top of
the many changes. We now have smart phones, and computers to do all of our research. We can
communicate in a number of different ways from phone calls to emails, text messages, Facebook
messenger, and visual platforms like Facetime and Zoom. We engage with smart watch a variety
of different applications for news, sports, tv, movies and webcasts. We can hook up to the internet in
public places through wifi and connect to our phones in our cars with Bluetooth.

Some of us have been born into this age of technology but many of us have had to keep up with the ever
changing technical advancements. It’s a new learning curve each time we turn around. Research
indicates seniors are one of the fastest growing internet and computer users. In 2000 14% of the over 65
were internet users now 75% are users and more than half own smart phones. The issue then is not the
access and interest in technology but the confidence in its use and incorporating it more easily into their
daily lives. There are many benefits to a senior becoming more engaged and confident in the use of

Seniors are finding health benefits including accessing medical care through video platforms like Zoom.
They are connecting to technology through health and wellness programming available online. Seniors
can access senior fitness programming such as exercise classes, yoga and meditation. Blood pressure
monitors and heart monitors store your info digitally and specialist appointments can be accessed
through the internet right in a person’s home. Mobility, illness and weather are barriers to a senior’s
health that can be overcome with use of the internet.

Interaction is very important. In this year of COVID 19 it has become clear the increase in isolation from
family, friends and activities/communities has had a significant effect on our mental health and sense of
connection. Seniors have been significantly impacted by this. Having the skill and instruction to access
video platforms to meet with family and friends, share important moments with conversation and
pictures can go a long way in mitigating some of the loneliness seniors are feeling these days. Following
a Facebook account or Instagram can bring the community home for a senior.

Online resources are exploding. Access to a computer and the internet opens up availability to many
online concerts, webinars, and programs. The availability of online reading through local and provincial
libraries and other reading platforms offers many books both fiction and non fiction accessed through
your tablet with an immediate download. YouTube offers instruction in many activities and hobbies
while chat groups offer a senior community and interaction with others of similar interests.
With Online shopping it has never been easier to access the goods we need right to our front door.
Online shopping has increased our ability to purchase essential products without the need to physically
be in a store. Financial transactions can happen online along with bill paying and all of our banking
needs can be accessed through our computers.

The Wawa Adult Learning Centre in partnership with the Economic Development Centre have come up
with a solution to allow our seniors the opportunity to learn internet based communication tools in a
safe supportive environment, through one on one instruction twice a week for 4 weeks. You can bring
your own tablet and/or phone or the centre will have tablets and phones for learners use and practice.
Now is the time to learn a few new skills. If interested, please contact the Wawa Adult Learning Centre
to register at 705 856 4394. 

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