Lexington, Kentucky (August 4, 2022) — With the internet continuously growing, it is more important than ever to have access to the tools it has to offer. This means making connectivity for all a big priority, including for those age 55 and older. Though they didn’t grow up with it, seniors are purchasing tech products at an increasing rate. According to the California Mobility Center, “51% of seniors report purchasing a tech product within the past year.”
Why is this the case?
Many seniors struggle with isolation due to health problems and other limitations. For many older Americans, the internet is the only way they interact with others. This has only been magnified since the pandemic.
Alice Gross is one of those seniors. After her husband died, she struggled with social isolation. Going online and connecting with the Cyber Seniors program helped her feel less alone.
“I find Cyber Seniors profoundly valuable,” Alice says. “There are always outlets to use, and it has connected me to entertainment and education.”
Connected Nation talked with Kascha Cassaday of Cyber Seniors to learn more about how the nonprofit is helping seniors like Alice get the tech-related help they need. The organization’s tech-savvy teen volunteers are trained in many areas of technology and internet usage, including email, social media, and more. They visit retirement homes and assisted living centers, and provide seniors with one-on-one lessons.
Cyber Seniors offers a variety of services and programs to make learning the internet easy. Not only that, the organization helps seniors stay social through online trivia nights and daily webinars.
For those of us who grew up with technology, the internet may seem like common sense. But to an older person who is brand new to it, navigating the web can be very challenging, says Kascha.
If you’re helping parents and grandparents learn how to use Google or Facebook for the first time, she adds, “Be patient. Think about when you were learning something new, and how frustrating it can be.”
The biggest obstacles for the older generation getting connected to the internet are affordability and access. Broadband internet service can be very expensive, and not everyone can afford it. This becomes a disadvantage in getting jobs, accessing telehealth, and other opportunities like socializing. That’s why it is so important to bridge the Digital Divide and create opportunities for all.
Cyber Seniors is making access easier for older Americans by offering a toll-free number for tech help, and webinars for additional guidance. All steps are taken to make these resources are as efficient and helpful as possible.
With everything from shopping to banking to medical care online today, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury and shouldn’t be treated as one. It’s also a critical resource for staying in touch with family and friends. Getting older can be lonely, and it is up to all of us to make it less so. You can help seniors in your life use the internet efficiently and make a difference!
About the Author: Isabel Pedersen is one of Connected Nation’s Communications and Marketing Interns. Isabel provides support to the Communications division of Connected Nation. Isabel also assists with writing, company blogs and social media posting, website editing, and bringing creativity to new and existing communications materials.
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