Today’s seniors recognize the benefits of technology in maintaining their health, independence and connection to others. The pandemic has only amplified this adoption of technology, with 61% of adults aged 65 and over owning a smartphone now, up from just 13% in 2012. In fact, three in four people aged 50 and over say they rely on technology to stay connected. , with people in their 50s (76%), 60s (79%) and 60s (72%) all exceeding 70%.
“Technology has helped seniors, and everyone really, stay in touch with family and friends during the pandemic,” says Tabatha McKay, regional vice president/general manager of UScellular in New England. “The level of comfort with technology over the past few years has increased. From smartphones and tablets to smart homes, seniors are proving they are willing and able to use technology. »
Although older adults may not use their smartphones as much as their younger counterparts, they use their mobile devices more often for video chatting, online research, entertainment and social media. According to AARP, older adults are also helping to drive the growth of smart home technology.
UScellular experts offer the following insights into how Maine seniors are using technology today.
• Link. By far, keeping in touch with family and friends using smartphones and tablets has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Forty-five percent of adults 50 and older said they use video chats, such as Zoom, Facetime or Skype, to chat with family and friends. Seniors also send emails (89%), text messages (92%) and video chats (74%).
• Smart homes. Smart home devices, like the Google Nest Hub Max, act as a command center for other smart home devices and have the added benefit of providing a video screen that allows people to stay in touch with family, friends and caregivers in a more personal way than just a phone call. Older Americans are increasingly using smart home assistants to help them manage everything from turning off appliances (42%) to controlling their thermostat (38%) and even setting appointments or medication reminders.
• Security. A smart home can provide many ways to stay safe outside and inside a home. In fact, 59% of seniors use home and security technology, like the Google Nest outdoor camera, to see who’s at the front door, and 48% to monitor their doors and windows. Google Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector that warns of danger by voice and siren and sends smartphone alerts to up to six contacts. Thirty-nine percent of seniors also rely on fall detection and emergency aid detectors.
• Entertainment. Adults over 70 have a particular fondness for tablets, with more than half (53%) owning one – up from 40% in 2019 – and 69% of them using them daily. Devices are used to attend a live virtual event like an exercise class, and seniors are more likely to tune in to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+, with 58% saying they stream continuously every week.
For more information on how technology can benefit you or a senior in your life, visit http://www.uscellular.com or stop by one of the local UScellular retail stores.
UScellular is the fourth largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, offering nationwide network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to enhance the customer experience. The Chicago-based operator provides a strong and reliable network supported by the latest technologies and offers a wide range of communication services that improve the lives of consumers, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about UScellular, visit any of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. For the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com. Connect with UScellular on social media at facebook.com/uscellular, twitter.com/uscellular, instagram.com/uscellularyoutube.com/uscellularcorp and linkedin.com/company/uscellular.