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Older Adults and New Technology

An older man and an older woman are smiling and looking at a tablet. A younger adult man is smiling and looking at the tablet with them.

Does adoption of new technology by older adults make a difference in their life? Current data shows that while more older adults are going online and staying connected by using technology only about 53% of seniors (age 65+) in the United States are online.  In the podcast “Tackling New Tech in the Golden Years”  Science Friday host Flora Lichtman chats with guests Thom Kamber and Therese Willkomm about older adults and technology adoption.

Willkomm provides insights and expertise about assistive technology and adaptive solutions that make it easier for older adults to use popular mobile devices such as tablets.

Additional topics explored include new advances in speech recognition technology which have made using some devices easier to use by some users.

Kamber provides tips for introducing new technology to older adults including the importance of demonstrating relevant connections between technology use and everyday life for seniors or older adults.

As a final topic discussed in the podcast Willkomm and Kamber share resources for additional information and programs for older adults and technology. Kamber points out that as a resource, “libraries are the first point of access for many older people who are trying to learn technologies…”. Additional funding through Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grants as well as state assistive technology programs also provide resources and training for many seniors interested in new technologies.

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