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Elizabeth Bemis

By: Elizabeth Bemis on July 17th, 2023

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Silver Surfers: Seniors' Growing Expectations & Demands for Technology

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In today's digitally driven environment, technology is no longer limited to younger generations—despite some lingering stereotypes surrounding the topic. In fact, there’s an entire population of people affectionately known as "silver surfers," who are increasingly embracing technology and recognizing its potential to enhance their lives. As a result, this age group’s expectations and demands from technology have grown as well. 

Join us as we delve into the evolving relationship between seniors and technology, exploring the factors that drive evolving expectations and the specific demands many seniors now have as empowered users.


Embracing a Digital Lifestyle


Steadily fading are the days when seniors were portrayed as technophobes. Many are now actively seeking to integrate technology into their daily lives. More and more, they are embracing the digital world and recognizing the numerous benefits it offers. The desire to be part of the digital landscape has driven many seniors to seek out and adopt various technological devices and services.


For instance, smartphones and tablets have become popular among seniors, providing them with portable access to information, communication, and entertainment. These devices can accommodate user-friendly interfaces and larger font sizes, ensuring a seamless user experience for the senior population. Older adults who use these devices are better equipped to stay connected with family and friends, search the internet, read e-books, play games and even engage with social media platforms.


In addition to mobile devices, some seniors are exploring smart home devices that enhance convenience, comfort, and security, as well as wearable technology like fitness trackers, smartwatches, and health monitoring devices. They are also embracing the convenience of online shopping, as e-commerce platforms enable seniors to browse a vast variety of products, compare prices and make purchases from the comfort of their homes. Even online banking has become more prevalent among older generations, simplifying financial management and enabling seniors to pay bills and monitor accounts without the need for physical visits to the bank.


Furthermore, seniors are venturing into the world of entertainment and cultural experiences through technology. They can stream movies and TV shows, listen to music and explore virtual tours of museums and landmarks. Online platforms offer access to an extensive library of content catering to diverse interests and preferences.


By embracing a digital lifestyle, seniors are not only enhancing their own lives but also challenging the perception that technology is exclusively for the younger generations. As the demand for technology among seniors continues to rise, there’s a greater need for support and offerings tailored to their unique requirements, so seniors can continue to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


Tapping Into Communication & Connectivity


One of the primary expectations seniors have from technology is improved communication and connectivity. They desire effortless ways to stay in touch with loved ones, connect with friends, and engage in meaningful social interactions. The digital revolution has enabled seniors to bridge geographical distances and combat feelings of isolation due to physical limitations or living situations.


Of course, one of the biggest catalysts for embracing communication and connectivity technology was the COVID-19 pandemic. With physical distancing measures in place, technology became a lifeline for maintaining social connections. Seniors who were previously hesitant or unfamiliar with technology quickly adapted and recognized its value in staying connected during times of crisis.


Video calling applications have revolutionized the way seniors communicate with their families and friends. Platforms such as Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom allow face-to-face conversations regardless of the physical distance between individuals. Seniors can now see their loved ones, share stories and celebrate important moments together, fostering a sense of connection and reducing feelings of loneliness. 


Messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or even simple text messaging, have become a much larger element of seniors' communication toolkit. These technology avenues provide a convenient and efficient way to stay in touch, exchange updates, and share photos and videos. Seniors can easily send text messages or voice recordings, allowing for flexible and personalized communication.


Social media is particularly and increasingly popular among seniors, offering them the opportunity to connect with old friends, join interest-based communities, and share experiences. On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, seniors can engage in conversations, stay updated on the lives of their loved ones, participate in discussions, express their opinions, and, ultimately, feel connected to a larger social network.


Some seniors have even discovered the benefits of online support groups and forums dedicated to their specific interests or health conditions. These platforms provide a sense of belonging, where seniors can connect with individuals facing similar challenges or experiences. The exchange of advice, encouragement, and emotional support helps seniors navigate their daily lives with more confidence and resilience.


Overall, technology has become a powerful tool for seniors to bridge the gaps created by physical distance and enhance their social well-being. By providing effortless ways to stay connected, technology is transforming the lives of seniors and enabling them to maintain meaningful relationships and nurture a sense of belonging in an increasingly interconnected world.


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Technology’s Impact on Health & Wellness


The desire for improved health and wellness is another significant driver behind seniors' expectations of technology. They are embracing health-tracking wearables, mobile applications for fitness and nutrition, and telemedicine services to monitor and manage their health effectively. Seniors seek user-friendly, age-appropriate interfaces that cater to their unique needs, ensuring that technology seamlessly integrates with their healthcare journey.


Health-tracking wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, have gained immense popularity among this population. These devices offer features like heart rate monitoring, step counting, sleep tracking, and even fall detection. By wearing these devices, seniors can gain insights into their physical activity levels, monitor vital signs, and track progress toward health and wellness goals. The data collected by wearables can be shared with healthcare providers, enabling them to provide personalized guidance and make informed medical decisions.


Mobile applications focused on fitness and nutrition have also become essential tools for seniors' health management. These apps offer exercise routines, guided workouts, meal planning, and nutrition-tracking features. They provide seniors with convenient access to tailored fitness programs that cater to their abilities and physical limitations. Nutritional apps allow seniors to track their dietary intake, set goals, and receive recommendations for maintaining a balanced diet. These technologies empower seniors to take an active role in their health management, promoting healthier habits and overall well-being.


Perhaps one of those popular and needed technology services among seniors is that of telemedicine, which has experienced significant growth in recent years. Seniors appreciate the convenience and accessibility offered by virtual doctor consultations as they connect with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes. Remote consultations enable timely monitoring of chronic conditions, medication management, and follow-up appointments. More and more seniors also value technology that promotes connectivity between their healthcare providers and themselves. Integration with electronic health records and secure sharing of data ensure that accurate and up-to-date medical information is readily available to both seniors and healthcare professionals. 


As seniors increasingly embrace technology, their expectations and demands from it continue to grow. Whether living alone or in a senior community, technology has the power to revolutionize their lives, enabling them to connect, learn, preserve independence, and lead fulfilling lives. Seniors who allow technology to become an empowering force in their lives, and who seek out environments and opportunities where technology is not only accessible but also encouraged, have a plethora of resources for thriving in today’s digital world.


To find out how United Methodist Homes provides a wealth of offerings and opportunities to support the health and well-being of our residents, contact us today or schedule a complimentary visit now.



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About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.