If there’s one group of people who have perhaps found the pandemic more frustrating, difficult, and, yes, sad, than any other, it has to be our seniors. Closed off from many friends and family thanks to social distancing and sheltering in place, it has been a hard and lonely time for many. But, as many office workers have found, turning to tech has been a game-changer. While tech has meant employees can work from home, via video-conferencing, it has also helped seniors keep in touch with their loved ones.
However, tech isn’t always as straightforward to use as we might like to think (after all, it’s why IT departments exist!). So how have our seniors found this brave new world? GearHungry.com, the leading resource for reviews of gear, gadgets, and gifts, surveyed 3,000 65+-year-olds to find out how they coped, and overall, a significant majority of Maryland seniors (79%) said their understanding of technology has actually improved since the start of the pandemic.
They know what tabs to click on, what virtual buttons to press, and – most importantly of all – how to unmute their microphones! And they’ve not just had to read a manual, either; 38% of seniors said their kids or grandkids have spent time with them this year, explaining how everything works.
Undoubtedly being able to use technology has helped people feel less alone, and 55% of seniors say this is the case. And 73% of respondents (below the ages of 55) said they had made more of an effort to connect with elderly friends and relatives this year. That said, most of them are going to keep going with the tech connections, as they don’t want to risk anyone’s health: 63% of people responsibly said they’ll avoid seeing extended family this Christmas in order to protect them from any risk.
So what are the best ways to stay in touch over the festive season? GearHungry.com has created an interactive slide show showcasing the best video software to do so.
‘It seems tech has come to the rescue of many people this year,’ says Seiji Ishii, Editor in Chief at GearHungry.com, ‘and most importantly to that of our older friends and relatives. It can be harder for seniors to leave the house in any case, and it makes things worse when they are obliged to stay at home. Video software has undoubtedly played a key role in mental health among seniors since the start of the pandemic.’