Using Technology:  Older Adult Perspectives

The Impact Theme series: Longevity Explorers Discuss.

Modern technologies like smartphones, computers, wearables, and the internet can be used in many ways that are very relevant for older adults. But they frequently are looking for help and advice on how to use the technology, how to choose it, and how to get it supported.

Below you can hear our discussions, and share what we are learning about these topics.

NOTE: Discussions about specific topics like Alexa or Apple Watch are found in other areas. Look under "Recommendations" in the top, main menu for things like Smarthome, Robotics and AI, or Medical Alerts, or if you are interested in video interactions you would look under Social isolation and Loneliness..


Hear what Older Adults Think: Using Technology

Best Video Call Technology

By: tel-editors

Now that we are all "sheltering in place", finding ways to interact virtually with people from our homes has rocketed up people's priority list.

We have had quite a few emails now from people wanting to know the best way to have video calls with their family and friends. Here are some... Read More. Add your Opinions


Internet Scams and Safety

This is a talk on Internet scams and Safety, from Capt John Alfred. Captain Alfred directs the cyber crimes and the state fusion units with the Rhode Island State Police.



Telephone, Cyber and Doorbell Scams Explored

Explorer Steve speaks about computer scams, including one brought to his attention by his neighbor who complained that a message would periodically appear on her computer screen telling her that her computer was infected, and to call the number in the message to get help in clearing her computer.



Ageism and Technology

Interesting discussion about Ageism, but also about the challenges of technology adoption by older adults. Among other things the group talked about how to reduce the friction between older and younger adults.



Parent's Computer or Phone "Not Working"

Helping family members who are technology-adverse, with their technical problems, has always been tough, but becomes even harder when they are remotely located or in an isolated facility. Part of the problem of remote support is “seeing” what they are seeing and “controlling” what they are doing...



Lost the TV Remote?

Who is not familar with this experience?

It's time to watch TV. Where did you put the remote control for the TV?



Online Passwords @ SF (1)

Explorer Steve believes that all passwords should be protected, and welcomes the entry of two-stage authentication for password protected sites by use of email or text messaging.



Parent Keeps "Losing" Their Phone?

Your loved one is frequently misplacing their smartphone while at home.

Many people misplace their phones, but if your loved one has mobility issues or cognitive decline, it’s even more frequent. Wouldn’t it be nice to offer your loved one a solution?



Hand Tremor: Obstacle to Charging "Devices"

A family friend is having problems keeping his iPad charged as he has recently developed hand tremors and is unable to plug in the power cable.



Mother's Fire TV Cube "Not Working"

The Amazon Fire TV Cube that you set up for your mother, who lives in another state, is sometimes hard for her to use. You wish that you had a way to give her remote help on its usage, other than trying to explain it over the phone.



Family Video Call: Too Cramped

When my whole family is here, and we want to have an Alexa call with my Aunt who is now in the nursing home, it's rather cramped sitting around my phone or even my Echo Show



TV Noise Drowns Out Phone Ringing

In my Dad’s nursing home everybody has their TV blasting, including My Dad. Sometimes he can’t even hear me calling on a video chat request on his Alexa Show.



Aging Parent Answers Doorbell Without Looking

My Mom jumps up to answer the doorbell every time it rings. I worry about two things.

  • I worry she opens the door to strangers without knowing who they are.
  • I worry she does not always hear the doorbell and might miss out on someone she actually wants to talk to.



Virtual Visits @ Passavant

By: Passavant Explorers

Lutheran SeniorLife, like other senior living communities, needed to quarantine to protect our residents during the COVID pandemic. We needed to develop more creative strategies for connecting our residents and their loved ones. Here is what we did.

Window visits became popular and... Read More. Add your Opinions


TV Too Loud Due To Hearing Loss

My Dad’s hearing is getting bad and it upsets my Mom when he blasts the TV. He has a hearing aid and will NOT wear a headset.



Virtual Worlds, Virtual Reality: Starting a Discussion

The San Francisco explorer group is asked a question on behalf of a Tech-enhanced Life follower in Boston who is knowledgeable about virtual worlds.



Password Manager Apps: SF Explorer Report

Explorer Joanne reports to the group on the results of her recent research into password management software.



Will an Echo Show 8 solve my problem?

By: Sent by email

I desperately need help finding a solution to helping out a 93 yr old in a AL / Nursing home. 

  •  I was wondering if anyone can tell me if this device (Echo Show 8) can work with an older, fainter voice ?
  •  Can Alexa pick up the commands ?
  • Do you have
  • ... Read More. Add your Opinions


Virtual Reality: It's 'Almost Like Being There'

Diana asks whether anyone in the group owns or has used a virtual reality headset. 



Staying in Touch: Parents in Lockdown

By: tel-editors

It's a pretty common scenario at present. Your elderly parent, who lives at home — or in a nice senior living facility — is under "lockdown" for the foreseeable future. You can't visit. They are not super tech-savvy and don't regularly use Facetime, or Skype, or Zoom. And you are wondering what... Read More. Add your Opinions


Evernote: SF Explorer App of the Month

Explorer Rich reports on Evernote, an app he has found useful for years and especially now when his memory seems not so reliable as in the past.



A Few of Our Concerns: Online Fear, Built-in Obsolescence, Dealing with Scams

We are a new Longevity Explorer group: The Bayley Longevity Explorers in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This discussion segment is our first ‘real’ more involved, in-depth, and meaningful discussion as an Explorer group.  It was a very good first meeting!  This discussion segment is about some of the concerns our explorers have: Online Fear, Built-in Obsolescence, and Dealing with Scams



Beware: Spammers Just Want Your Money

The S. F. Explorers share their displeasure with unwanted email, messages and phone calls, many of which are scammers looking for gullible people.



Dan's Fear: What If My Computer Crashes?

Explorer Dan shares his fear of having his computer fail, and what to do if it does.



Amazon GO

SF Explorer Rich tells the group about his recent experience at the new Amazon GO market in San Francisco.



About the Impact Theme Series

Our Longevity Explorers (hundreds of older adults with ages ranging from 60-95 years old) meet regularly to discuss topics at the intersection of aging and technology.

Among the many topics we discuss in these meetings, we have been exploring some specific themes which we think are going to be very important for older adults in the future, and which in our opinion are ripe for innovation. These make up our Impact Themes, and Using Technology is one of these themes.

In these discussions:

  • We share how we do things today;
  • We explore and critique existing products;
  • We talk about challenges we have that we wish products could solve; and
  • We dream up product concepts we wish someone like you would develop.

If you are developing products or services for older adults in the category of Using Technology, listen to the Longevity Explorer discussions on this page to get insights about how to develop better products and services for older adults.

More Explorer Discussions


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Topics (broader coverage of this theme):