As we covered in a prior content spark and in our social media webinars, it’s a common misperception or stereotype that seniors are technophobes or ‘out of the loop’ when it comes to technology use. While it’s definitely true that there are some seniors who aren’t using technology, there are also many who are — and for those who aren’t, we as senior care organizations can play a role in educating them about the benefits of technology and help them learn. Seniors Computing

The theme of this year’s National Assisted Living Week (September 11-17) provides one such opportunity. It’s “Keep Connected” and is focused on recognizing the expanding and exciting ways that assisted living residents are using technology to enhance their lives — as well as the ways that staff are using technology to enhance care. And it’s not just senior living communities that are using technologies to support and engage older adults: home care agencies and other senior care organizations are doing so as well.

Content Tips for Any Senior Care Company

  • Cite the statistics about the growing number of older adults who are using the Internet and social media — such as the figures that the Pew Internet and American Life project puts out. Then bring those stats to life with stories of real users you know who fit in this demographic. Discuss the ways they use it, and include any benefits they’ve experienced — such as a senior who is now more connected to their grandchildren’s daily lives via Facebook, or a senior living resident who used online reviews to find the community they’re in.
  • Consider a technology product round up, such as “10 Technologies That Make A Senior’s Life Easier” with a short description of each one and how it helps. Or, “Our Favorite Apps for Seniors’ Smartphones”, or “5 Websites Worth A Senior’s Time”, or something similar that helps raise awareness about technologies that can improve or enhance the well being of older adults.
      Content Tips for Senior Living Communities
    • Blog about the ways that technology is being used in your community to enhance the lives of residents or support your staff in delivering excellence in care. And if you’re using technology to help connect residents to their family members, be sure to include those examples as well.
    • Host an activity where you educate cognitively healthy residents about online reviews and how to post their own — whether about your community’s services on a site like Caring.com, or of their favorite beauty salon on Yelp, or a recently read book on Amazon.com.
        Content Tips for Home Care Agencies
      • Is your home care agency using technology in any innovative ways to support your clients and their family members? Create a blog post to discuss those attributes and benefits of hiring your agency.
      • At the Home Care Association of America annual conference in Anaheim in September, there is a session with Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, featuring the latest and greatest technologies for use in the home by older adults, caregiving professionals and families to enable safety, engagement, and communication. If you’re attending the conference, go to that session, and include a write up about the information presented on your agency’s blog.
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            Denise Graab

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