A common misconception among folks basking in their 40-and-under years is that getting older (and building your already-existing collection of forehead wrinkles and smile lines) is a milestone worth dreading. In addition to becoming technologically adverse, many feel that as you age, it is more likely that you’ll encounter loneliness, depression, memory loss, and a tanking drive to complete day-to-day tasks.
Despite these ideas, seniors are pushing back against the notion that life begins to end when you start ageing. Many older folks argue that recent technological advancements have even helped ease several difficulties younger folks feel anxious about encountering when they inevitably age.
When seniors tap into the Digital Age’s goldmine of technological advancements, i.e., wearable technology, computers for seniors, and video-chatting software like Skype, they can evade depression-inducing loneliness, set reminders for themselves, and acclimate to the technology-forward culture in their backyards.
Overcoming these age-related stereotypes is an unavoidable task for sprightly teenagers and seniors brimming with wisdom alike. Ageing is a natural process that we will all encounter, so the sooner folks dispel the following myths, everyone will be on track for longer, happier, healthier lives.
No desire to use technology
Many folks don’t bother introducing technology into the lives of seniors they know because of the persistent idea that seniors aren’t interested in technological advancements. In our warped perceptions of ageing communities, these senior citizens would prefer to stick to the devices they’re already familiar with, right? Wrong.
Many seniors have indicated that if the technology is relatively easy to use and helps them accomplish tasks or stay connected with loved ones, it’s worth battling the learning curve involved.
Too old to learn how to use it
Another myth is that seniors are simply too old to learn how to use the newest technology. While it’s true that they may not take to it as quickly as Generation Z, elderly populations are just as capable of learning how to use these state-of-the-art devices—even the technological devices Gen-Zers may consider to be advanced.
Studies have shown that seniors who incorporate technological advancements into their lives make it a part of their everyday routine, suggesting that studying these devices’ ins and outs is more achievable than most initially assume.
Seniors would prefer to be left alone
Maybe you’ve been putting off introducing an iPad to your great aunt or uncle because they exhibit antisocial behaviours. As such, video chatting would be of no use to them. Perhaps they live in an assisted living facility with a community of seniors, rendering video-chat-compatible laptops useless. After all, with ample opportunities for face-to-face interaction, why would they need a tablet taking up all their time?
Even though seniors may initially resist using devices for communication purposes, tablets and wearable devices can perform several useful functions. After a quick download, your elderly loved one can access apps that send medication reminders, place grocery delivery orders for those who prefer no-contact food drop-offs, and generate an up-to-date calendar of upcoming appointments.
Too stubborn to adjust
Folks often lean on the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” to justify leaving seniors out of the cybersphere. One of the most common stereotypes about seniors, in general, is that they are too stubborn and grumpy to break old habits.
While some seniors may dig their heels in the sand and protest the Digital Age’s tidal wave of advancements, those elderly folks embracing the 21st century suggest that this is a symptom of the person’s personality, not necessarily their age. Merely being old does not predispose you to irritability, so don’t let a potential attitude deter you from teaching elderly folks how to utilize technology.
No connection to the internet
There is another misconception that many elderly folks aren’t connected to the internet. While it’s true that some older homes have infrastructure issues when attempting to install WiFi and some seniors experience financial struggles when trying to obtain a WiFi connection.
Despite these connectivity issues among older folks, individuals don’t realize that seniors are already reasonably connected. Six out of 10 seniors already use the internet, and 71% of those folks use it every day.
There are many reasons why younger folks believe seniors are unwilling or unable to adjust to the rapid technological advancements released almost daily. However, many of these reasons turn out to be myths, indicating that seniors are indeed capable of embracing technology with open arms.