Beyond the Environment – Encouraging older adults to be technologically comfortable

Written by Rachel Patil, Simon Fraser University: Atia Mahmoud, Simon Fraser University, and Priscilla Ruth Chirva, Simon Fraser University, first appeared in the discussion and are here published voluntarily.

Living in a technology-dependent world means that we all want to stay connected, regardless of age. And the Covide-19 epidemic was a major factor in increasing technology dependence.

It has become common to shop online every week, attend doctor’s appointments, or work through Zoom and FaceTime family and friends. But the reality is that not everyone is fortunate enough to have the technology or skills to work in the online world – some of the most affected are older adults.

This particularly highlighted the epidemic for them, especially in terms of stigma. The main resource that keeps many of us in contact with older adults is the lack of technology.

But that’s not all, the epidemic is for older adults. Large numbers are also experiencing it, or are vulnerable to homelessness. During the epidemic, elderly people became one of the most vulnerable groups in housing. And one of the biggest barriers to housing is low socioeconomic status.

Our technological dependence has created new challenges for the elderly, and exploring online platforms for home security has helped strengthen existing ones. Older adults face housing barriers due to lack of technology resources and lack of education on how to use them; There is a clear desire to encourage them to become digital citizens.

Finding a home in an internet-dependent world

In general, older adults are often excluded from using the Internet because they do not have the tools or connections, or because they have no experience in using it. So when it comes to finding a home, you are often left behind.

Ten years ago it was possible to walk the streets, check newspapers, get billboards and apartments for rent, but this is not uncommon. The forums themselves – such as KGG, Papamaper and Facebook Marketplace – do not consider older adults; The ability to navigate and access these resources makes it more difficult to find housing. In addition to having to search through unusual platforms, they are also faced with finding a limited budget apartment.

Suppose you do not know the existence of housing websites. Or learn how to browse online ads. Or have a device to access the Internet. When you get home, you are in for a rude awakening.

In North America, “Many rental housing markets are moving online; This means that most rental properties are accessible through online platforms. Older adults who are not part of this digital world have limited opportunities to find housing.

We do not want to suggest that it is impossible to get an apartment, but if you are an elderly person who lacks technology resources and digital knowledge, you may feel overwhelmed.

Making technology more accessible

How can we move forward in this digital world when so many are left behind? We must at least make technology accessible, so the choice is up to the user.

When it comes to older people, their choice to engage with technology gives them freedom and the ability to govern themselves. When the decision is theirs, it includes the quality of life, especially social exclusion.

Older adults are more susceptible to scams and scams and may have difficulty identifying fake housing advertisements, promoting support and educational resources to promote online awareness and caution, promote the use of trusted websites and refrain from disclosing personal information such as SIN. And credit card information. This allows older adults to feel more comfortable and confident online.

We are part of an AIRP project to address the causes of homelessness for the elderly, including temporary housing to support the elderly who are at risk of homelessness. .

A key part of this project is not only making contact with people who work to support this community, but also with older people who are homeless. In our pre-client interview with temporary residents, we are told how invaluable technology is when you are looking for a stable home.

Technology can improve quality of life

As society’s older adults, we assume that they are not interested in different technologies, not because they oppose them, but because modern technologies are not easily developed in their minds. The inability of technology users to include older adults will further exacerbate the social, information, and digital exclusion they face.

This leaves very few opportunities for learning and understanding. Opportunities to learn are often at school or at work – these are areas that many seniors do not always support.

By making things more accessible, such as housing, technology can improve the quality of life for the elderly.

It is time to make use of the resources and educational resources available to those who are left behind. Encourage seniors to become digital citizens.

As digital citizens, they have many opportunities to protect homes and equipment to prevent homelessness. These supports not only a sense of belonging but also a sense of belonging and inclusion in modern society.

Diana Junita Mora, a graduate research fellow at Simon Fraser University, is a research assistant and co-author of this article.

Rachel Patil, Research Assistant, AIRP, Simon Fraser University; Atia Mahmoud, Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Simon Fraser University, And Priscilla Ruth Chirva, Assistant Researcher, Aging in the Right Place (AIRP); Simon Fraser University

This article has been republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Leave a Comment