Seniors say technology is key to independent living

By News Canada

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For Canadian seniors, technology is making an increasing difference in their ability to remain at home, independent and engaged.

Online seniors 75-plus say they are most inclined to use technology that helps them stay socially active (63 per cent), according to a national survey conducted by Leger Marketing for Revera, a Canadian leader in seniors' accommodation, care and services. In fact, more than 80 per cent say they use e-mail as their primary way of staying in contact with family and friends.

A sizeable number of Canadians 75-plus also feel that technology will help to make their homes more secure (49 per cent), and allow them to stay on top of their health care through remote monitoring devices, like online updates on blood pressure (45 per cent).

For many seniors, the traditional family dynamic and sense of community has shifted. Often, families and friends aren't just around the corner but towns or countries apart. Technology can be key to helping seniors live their lives to the fullest, remain socially active, and maintain connections to their support networks, says Trish Barbato, the senior vice-president of Home Health and Business Development at Revera.

“It's clear that technology is already playing a pivotal role in communications for those who choose to stay in their homes as they get older, and I think there is vast potential for it to have a positive impact in other areas, such as home health care,” says Barbato.

The Revera survey found that seven in 10 online respondents 75-plus believe that technology will help them live in their own homes as long as possible, and seventy-seven per cent feel technology has the potential to make their lives easier or simpler.

“I think we're just beginning to understand how technology will support our desire to stay in our homes longer,” Barbato says.

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