Every year, more and more seniors are surfing—surfing the World Wide Web, that is. In fact, of seniors who use the Internet, 71 percent said they go online every day or almost every day (source). Although it can be difficult for the elderly to embrace new technology, they often do so with the help and encouragement of younger generations. Their reasons vary from person to person. Some people are simply curious, while others have a specific intent. Some want to play around and explore, while others need the Internet for specific and practical reasons. Today we’re exploring how seniors use the Internet, from gaming and social media to online banking and health resources.
How Seniors Use the Internet
Social Media & E-Mail. Like any age group, the elderly love to use the Internet for social media and e-mailing. Using Facebook (the most popular social media site for seniors), they’re able to communicate with family and friends while also sharing photos, expressing their opinions, and playing games. This is a great way for seniors to reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with younger family members.
Games and Videos. The Internet houses thousands of free games: solitaire, mahjong, poker, trivia, and even monopoly and pool. When seniors want a game to lift their spirits or escape boredom, they know they can always count on the Internet. Additionally, 17% of seniors use the Internet to watch TV shows, access movies, or watch videos on sites like Youtube. Although they don’t watch videos as often as younger generations, they do enjoy having the Internet as a handy resource.
Shopping. When mobility is difficult and transportation is hard to come by (as is common for seniors), shopping online can be incredibly convenient. From the comfort of your couch, you can search through a vast array of products and services. Plus, you can easily sort items by price, which makes it easy to find bargains. Of seniors who use the Internet, 58% say they have used the Internet for shopping and 46% admit they have used it to search for bargains (source).
Banking and Health Information. Of course, seniors aren’t using the Internet only for fun and games. It’s also a great way to access banking services and get health and medical information. In fact, 66% of seniors have used the Internet for health and medical information, and 55% have used it for banking or financial activities.
News. Print newspapers have become less and less common in recent years. Although most seniors still prefer a printed newspaper, many are accessing news online now as well. There is a greater wealth of information online, including a variety of websites run by national news organizations, local news organizations, and online magazines.
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No one can deny the convenience of the Internet, but for seniors unfamiliar with the world of computers, it can be difficult to dive right straight in to the World Wide Web. To help a senior learn how to use computers, check out this previous blog post, which is full of helpful tips and advice. In addition, you might be interested in our blog post Popular Websites for Seniors.
Looking for a senior living facility in the Midwest? Be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee, and they all contain computer chat rooms! If you would like to take a tour of one of our facilities, please click here.