Technologies that support Aging in Place

Elderly lady typing on laptop. Shallow DOF. It is human nature to form attachments to our homes and communities and to want to continue to live in places of our choice as we age. For most of us, the ability to remain in our homes symbolizes independence and represents the places where we have created memories that can provide comfort. However, independent living, while it may be preferred, isn’t always an option for older adults.

Technology is pervasive in today’s world. It helps us stay connected easily and efficiently and can facilitate many of our daily tasks. One of the top 10 technologies that can help you age in place is what’s referred to as “social interaction technology.” These technologies are designed to connect older adults to family and friends and can range from cell phones (some adapted models like the Jitterbug) to applications like Skype that can be installed on computers, tablets and smart phones.

Technology use is increasing for many older adults. Drawing on figures from Statistics Canada, CBC reports that the number of Canadians 75 years of age and older who are online grew from five per cent in 2000 to 27 per cent in 2012.

To recognize this sudden increase, CBC prepared an edition of Digitally Savvy Seniors, where they invited their readers to submit stories about parents and grandparents and how they made the transition into the digital world. One of these stories focuses on Jean Jones.

[The] Ninety-nine-year-old “breaks stereotypes of leadite seniors,” her daughter Laura Jones wrote to CBC News for their segment.

The senior Jones has a Facebook profile and frequently Skypes from Virginia with her Toronto-based great-granddaughter, Zoriana Phillips.

The Apple-computer-using Jones is also part of a computer club.

Her retirement home has a computer room, which remains open 24 hours a day. So, Jones can remain involved in her interests through social media and she participates in different online groups.

Five years ago, Jones and her daughter took a Ryerson University online memoir course.

“Her knowledge of world events and political issues astounds me,” wrote her daughter.

The technology world is booming and constantly changing at what sometimes feels like an alarming rate, but it doesn’t have to leave you behind. There are many ways to stay connected!

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