Thrive In Place Blog

Factors that contribute to seniors’ adoption of technology

According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of adults over the age of 65 use the internet regularly and 47 percent of them have a high-speed broadband connection at home. While the number of older adults who are enjoying their time online is certainly encouraging, there is still a sizable proportion who are missing out on the benefits of technology. 

So what has created this divide between users and non-users of technology? Here are a few factors to consider:

Desire to be social 

Once older adults decide to use digital technology, they tend to go online nearly every day. Internet users are more likely than non-users to think that folks not logging in every day are missing out on something. They also tend to say that being online helps them make meaningful social connections. 


Having a college degree seems to have a major influence on whether or not an older adult is an active user of technology. The Pew study found that of adults over the age of 65 with at least a bachelor's degree, 87 percent use the internet regularly and 76 percent have a broadband connection. It's possible that these individuals continue their desire to learn by exploring what new software has to offer. 


Computers, tablets, smartphones and internet access all cost money, and it's possible that low-income individuals have prioritized other items over the ability to be online. In a poll conducted by the National Council on Aging, the majority of Americans over the age of 60 say that technology is important for staying connected with loved ones, but also find the costs of buying a device to be too prohibitive. 

Openness vs. skepticism 

Multiple studies suggest that a sizable number of older adults (around a third) who are not online are deeply skeptical about the benefits of technology. Many say that they do not think they are missing out on any important information. 

Physical ability 

The small buttons and icons on smartphones can be difficult for older adults to manipulate and see. Typing on a keyboard is also hard for individuals who have joint issues. Many modern technological devices require users to use complex fine motor skills. Older adults with physical disabilities are less likely to own digital devices than individuals who are in better physical health.

The above points may explain why some older adults have not incorporated more technology into their lives, but that in no way means that there is no solution for them. Many seniors are eager to embrace technology, but may require basic instruction and demonstration. The devices that they use should also be designed to meet the physical limitations that older adults face. Managed care organizations can also make technological solutions more affordable and a standard part of their services. 

Indpenda's technology-enabled independent senior living solutions offer something that many other digital devices and software solutions cannot. By using an LG television, older adults can easily chat with loved ones or surf the web — no extensive training is required! To schedule a demo, contact us through our online form

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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.