Higher levels of mental and physical well-being are seen among older adults using computers and cellphones. Seniors have been adopting technology as a means of connecting with others and it seems that their newfound use of technology is offering up great benefits for their mental health in return.
Researcher Tamara Sims explained, “Using tech to connect with loved ones was related to higher life satisfaction, lower loneliness, and general attainment of meaningful goals – being happy, independent.”
The researchers found that those who use technology for learning something new had better physical health, too.
The study looked at different ways the participants were using technology to stay in touch with the world. Many of them used Amazon for shipping, Netflix to watch their favorite shows, and even more elaborate programs and gadgets, too. There was one thing that all the participants had in common – they absolutely loved their technology.
Sims was first skeptical that seniors over the age of 80 would be so involved in technology. The researchers surveyed 445 seniors aged 80 to 93 online and over the phone. The participants were asked about their motivations to use technology devices. The researchers found that majority of the participants used at least one technology device and that use of technology was associated with higher levels of mental and physical well-being.
Although these devices offer some benefits, they do raise some challenges as well. Seniors cannot keep up with the fast pace of the technological progress, so many of them struggle to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving world. Classes for seniors geared towards improving their understanding of technology could effectively address this concern.