Jennifer Wong, UCLA
“Senior technology” can be difficult to conceptualize. This is largely due to the perception that older adults are unable to adopt new technologies. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Technology changes the way the world behaves, but often the benefits of tech are disparately felt between generations.
Although older adults hold the majority of the developed world’s wealth, technology developers overwhelming prefer marketing to younger generations, focusing on the long-term potential to build brand loyalty early on.
There’s good news for tech developers who wish to expand their claim by developing technologies for older adults. The wave of baby boomers approaching retirement age is growing rapidly each day and abundant opportunities await capitalization in the senior tech market.
So, how should tech developers adapt to the growing senior market? For seniors, innovation doesn’t mean fancier or more complex features - it means functionality and ease of integration into their everyday lifestyle.
There should also be an emphasis on improved communication channels for seniors, as social isolation can make getting older unbearable for many.
Aging in place technologies, that promote socialization and interconnectedness, can be especially helpful for helping seniors age gracefully in their homes.
For instance, devices that promote connected independence often include features that give adult children insight into their parents’ daily activities along with tools that allow family caregivers to participate in doctors’ appointments remotely.
There is a lot of unexplored ground in the realm of senior healthcare technology. Shifting attention towards senior-focused technologies can encourage seniors to age in place independently, while staying socially connected with a supportive social network.