Healthcare Technologies for Senior Citizens
It is a common assumption that the elderly are not so technology savvy and they have surpassed the learning age. Like many other misconceptions, this is a misconception that is formed when you underestimate other people.
Those of you who think that elderly avoid technology would be astonished to know that according to a report by Media Technology Monitor, for the first time, a majority of elderly in Canada owns a cellphone. It is a fact that seniors are more inclined to use a technology that helps them to get some entertainment, save them from boredom or improve their life in some ways. Though their learning curve might not be as smooth as other generations, they are trying hard to stay connected with the world.
One of the fields in which technology implementation would greatly help the elderly is healthcare. Thanks to healthcare technological tools like Cold Rush Cold Therapy System, the elderly can get pain relief quickly and easily. Similarly, use of technology by healthcare professionals ensure the safety of medical data and its easy access to all who have an interest in it.
Some seniors are not as comfortable with technology as others. These seniors usually face roadblocks like lack of understanding or experience. These roadblocks can only be removed by education and training. If you are a caregiver or a health care provider of a senior who lacks confidence with technology, it becomes your responsibility to educate and train the senior so
that he or she can make his or her life easier.
Data with regard to the use of technology is favorable. In 2017, 40 percent of seniors owned a smartphone, and two out of three used the internet on a regular basis. One-third of seniors used social media or owned a tablet. According to data shared by Pew Research, 71 percent of people between the ages of 50-64 sought healthcare information online, and 60 percent looked for such information on Facebook. For people aged over 65, 58 percent sought healthcare information online, and 43 percent looked for such information on Facebook. This data proves that seniors are more technology friendly than many people assume and going online for their health is almost instinctive to them.
What Can Healthcare Providers Do?
So, if you are a tech-friendly healthcare service provider, it’s high time for you to treat the elderly like all other patients and stop assuming that a senior won’t be able to download his or her lab reports from the internet or he or she won’t be able to leave a good review on Facebook. When you treat seniors like equals, they will appreciate it and will be more willing to learn healthcare technology in the future.
How to Digitally Connect with Seniors?
As a healthcare provider, you should remember that Canadians who are 65 or older are among those groups of internet users that are growing rapidly. You should also try the following steps to make the path easier for the seniors.
Ø Take Help from Social Media
Many seniors are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts these days because they don’t want to be left behind. So, as a healthcare service provider, you should create valuable and engaging social media content to encourage the seniors to share it. As word of mouth advertising is still among the strongest form of marketing, your practice will benefit from it.
Ø Give Them Access
Whenever a senior walk into your office, you should provide them access to electronic health records, doctor’s notes, and prescriptions. This access will enable a senior to know his or her health conditions a bit better and might motivate him or her to take better care of himself/herself.
Ø Be Simple
It is also advised that your technologies should be easy to use for the seniors. As many seniors are new to technologies, they take their own sweet time to do even the basic tasks like logging into their Facebook account. So, you should ensure that your electronic health records are easily accessible and navigable. You should also ensure that the content you use as a part of your social media efforts is not too complex or uses difficult vocabulary.
Ø Use Attractive Visuals
You can also connect digitally with seniors by using attractive visuals. As many seniors don’t have the patience to read blocks of paragraphs, you should use images, infographics, and videos to connect with them. Make sure that the visuals are not boring or too long as it may distract the seniors. Keep it short, sweet and simple.
In essence, it can be said that though seniors are engaging in healthcare technology, it is not an easy task for them. It is your duty as a healthcare provider to make technology easy for seniors so that they can benefit from it. Come, join the digital revolution and make sure that your patients come with you.