<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://analytics.twitter.com/i/adsct?txn_id=nuqgh&amp;p_id=Twitter&amp;tw_sale_amount=0&amp;tw_order_quantity=0"> <img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="//t.co/i/adsct?txn_id=nuqgh&amp;p_id=Twitter&amp;tw_sale_amount=0&amp;tw_order_quantity=0">

Published: February 28, 2023

hands typing on computer

No surprise, the tech gap between young adults and older adults is narrowing.

According to an analysis of a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2021 “adoption of key technologies by those in the oldest age group has grown markedly since about a decade ago, and the gap between the oldest and youngest adults has narrowed.”

Key findings of the 65 and older age group found:

  • 61 percent own a smartphone;
  • Presence on social media grew about fourfold in the past decade;
  • 75 percent are internet users;
  • YouTube use increased in the past decade 11 points, to 49 percent.

 And since the pandemic, older Americans have a more favorably view of technology.

“Technology enabled older adults to better weather the isolation of the pandemic, from ordering groceries to telehealth visits to connecting with loved ones,” said Alison Bryant, Senior Vice President of Research at AARP.

AARP’s 2021 research of the 50+ population found:

  • Annual tech spending increased from $394 to $1144. The top three tech purchases were smartphones, smart TVs and earbuds/Bluetooth headsets;
  • Weekly use of streaming increased to 58% from 44%;
  • Smartphone use increased dramatically, especially for ordering groceries, personal health and financial transactions;
  • More than half want to learn more about using technology.

 An innovative approach to tech learning

 Sure, some older adults have the luxury of turning to a more tech savvy family member or friend for assistance, but many of us have to wing it solo. That’s why Kendal at Oberlin decided to partner with Candoo Tech, a company that provides tech support and training specifically designed for older adults.

 “We’re very excited to pilot Candoo here in Oberlin! It represents a significant solution offering residents timely technical assistance and reducing barriers and frustration for all levels of users,” said Barbara W. Thomas, Kendal’s Chief Executive Officer.

Candoo Tech will be providing residents with a combination of one-on-one remote tech support and lessons, group lessons and a library of on-demand how to guides and videos on a variety of topics to learn how to use their smart phones, tablets and computers better. Residents will be able to contact Candoo Tech’s U.S. based Tech Concierges to address accessibility needs like connecting hearing aids to phones and changing font size to make reading easier, learn how to use new apps and programs and get help when devices are not working properly.

The pilot at Kendal gets underway this month with “Welcome Webinars.” The life plan community is piloting the service to see if it will meet the need of residents so there is no charge, but if Kendal decides to move forward after the 6-month pilot, all options will be reviewed, said Judy Miller, IT director.

Candoo also offers services directly to consumers, from one-hour online session to a yearly membership.

“For adult children and caregivers like me, Candoo gives us the confidence to know that our loved ones are getting the support they need to make their lives easier and more productive,” said Candoo Founder and CEO Liz Hamburg.

Top Tech Devices for Older Adults

Technology doesn’t just mean smartphones and iPad, and the tech industry is paying attention to what baby boomers might need and want as they grow old.  

Today came up with “7 helpful tech devices for seniors.” Here are 3 of them:

  1. Animatronic cats and dogs. We all know that pets can combat loneliness and social isolation, but not everyone is able to take care of a pet. Animatronic or robot pets look, sound and move pretty much like the real thing without the work. (Kendal’s Stephens Care Center has a couple of these pets.) 
  2. The next generation of medial alert devices. Some come with GPS, which can point the responder to the exact location, and still in clinical trials is the Tango Belt, a smart belt that automatically senses a serious hip-impact fall and deploys airbags to reduce impact forces.
  3. Tablets designed for older adults, such as Grandpad, a no-frills device with built-in games, easy to use video chat and support 24/7.
Learn More About Kendal at Oberlin – A Vibrant Community for Older Adults

Are you making plans for your future? Kendal at Oberlin offers an active lifestyle with opportunities for lifelong learning, art and culture.

Request a Brochure

Author Molly Kavanaugh 2020In the past, Molly Kavanaugh frequently wrote about Kendal at Oberlin for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she was a reporter for 16 years. Now we are happy to have her writing for the Kendal at Oberlin Community.

About Kendal at Oberlin: Kendal is a nonprofit life plan community serving older adults in northeast Ohio. Located about one mile from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and about a 40 minute drive from downtown Cleveland, Kendal offers a vibrant resident-led lifestyle with access to music, art and lifelong learning.