Why Is Digital Literacy Important for the Elderly?

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Digital literacy is important for seniors and the elderly because it has a direct impact on their quality of life by providing access to information and long-distance family, saving time on daily tasks, and can even provide critical tools to manage their health.

seniors digital literacy

Digital literacy is important for seniors and the elderly because it has a direct impact on their quality of life by providing access to information and long-distance family, saving time on daily tasks, and can even provide critical tools to manage their health.

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Times are changing and our elderly in the society are getting recognized all over the world. With programs and projects in place to ensure that the elderly are living their best lives, technology has ensured that the elderly no longer feel scared of getting to certain ages as life has been made easier.

Processes are no longer complicated and information or help is one call or click away. This has been made possible by the widespread use of technology and technological devices to pass information via various platforms such as internet, social media and devices such as mobile phones.

For a long time the elderly in the society depended on assistance from either relatives and caregivers to organize how they could perform some tasks such as paying bills and shopping but with states encouraging and promoting digital literacy, such tasks are done in a blink of an eye.

Let us now look at how digital literacy has improved the lifestyle of our elderly in the society.

Digital Literacy Improves Quality Of Life For Elderly

Here are the reasons that it is important for older adults to maintain a functional level of digital literacy:

1. Access to Information

The elderly have a chance to access information on all subjects just by a click on the internet. One can easily check on the weather forecast on their device and plan ahead on what to wear, read alerts and news online at their own convenience.

However, we must be make sure the information our elderly access online to ensure it is from reputable sources to avoid misinformation.

2. Keeps Family Close

For many older adults, their families are usually far and may take long to visit. With applications such as Skype, WhatsApp and messenger, families can keep in touch almost daily. During the pandemic, digital literacy has been one sure way of keeping in touch and keeping our elderly safe from harm.

However, it is important to visit our elderly in person whenever we can just for the human touch and feel.

3. Saves Time for the Elderly and Keeps Personal Information Safer

Once the elderly are empowered on how to use digital platforms, they can easily pay their utility bills online, make hotel bookings, book medical appointments and even make financial transactions online.

This will save them time that would have been spent queuing for a considerable amount of time. This comes in especially handy for our elderly with health complications that can not allow them stand in line for long.

While this is a viable alternative for our elderly, it is imperative that we ensure the cyberspace they work on is safe and secure to avoid breach of privacy.

4. Earn a Living and Showcase Skills

The internet has provided a platform for the elderly to showcase their talents and skills. Some older adults have spent their lives honing their talents. With social media platforms such as Youtube, Tiktok and Facebook, we have seen a rise in number of the elderly doing talk shows, knitting and other hobbies online.

With this, they are able to do what they enjoy and earn a living at the same time. Let’s support such causes by appreciation, positive reviews as the elderly live their best lives.

5. Manage Their Health

The elderly need to eat healthy, exercise their bodies and keep fit. In these times of the pandemic, where social distance and remote working is encouraged, the elderly may use their devices to look up health related information such as foods that boost immunity or even foods that are in line with their health conditions. Some have subscribed to online gym membership and watch light work out videos to allow them exercise at their own convenience.

With this in mind, the elderly may need a little bit of convincing to adopt digital literacy as we can see it plays a very big role in making life as smooth and as enjoyable as possible. They may need help seeing the vision. Despite the elderly finding it hard to catch up with technology, we note that the number keeps growing day in day out and improves the quality of life of the elderly.

Even with all these advantages on the elderly person’s side, we need to ensure that they are safe as they take advantage of the technological advancements in place to avoid exploitation by individuals who may want to take advantage of them.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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2 thoughts on “Why Is Digital Literacy Important for the Elderly?”

  1. I would like to see a follow up article with ways for seniors and the elderly to acquire digital literacy.

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