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This pandemic is hard on everyone. People need to take extra precautions to go out, maintain social distancing, and more. Working and studying from home have their share of challenges. We need to make sure our computers don’t have problems, and our Internet connection is stable and fast. The stress can be overwhelming because of these things. But do you know who else is stressed out? Older adults. Our parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunties.
Candoo Tech (www.candootech.com) surveyed adults age 60+ show that older adults feel learning a new tech device is more frightening than hearing a strange noise at night, going to the dentist, and going to the doctor – combined!
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of seniors fear internet scams, hacks, and computer viruses. The survey results also said that older folks want a personal tech coach. They value that more than books and slippers.
Candoo Tech took the informal poll, a technology training and support service specifically for older adults, and asked participants to rank their frustration level by learning something new on an electronic device.
Respondents ranked it right up there, waiting in line at the government agency and more frustrating than being stuck in traffic. Wow.
Despite these difficulties, seniors still want to be connected. Forty-six percent (46%) of respondents picked “personal tech coach” as the number one item on their wish list. Interestingly, that’s more than twice the number who want a new tech device, the second choice (21%), which interestingly beat out the “old school” gift, a book, by only one percentage point.
Since seniors are not allowed to travel or restricted to have visitors because they’re more vulnerable to COVID 19, they are likely to spend time with family and friends online. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of respondents said they do their virtual visits through video calls.
The report also said that while 44% of seniors shopped online for the holidays, 57% are concerned about the risks of internet scams, account hacks, or computer viruses. These are valid fears. In the US alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 68,000 complaints in 2019 from victims over age 60 who experienced losses of more than $835 million. Only 8% of Candoo Tech survey respondents think they are too smart to fall for a scam.
So how can we help our older relatives? Well, you can offer them service options to acquaint them with new technologies and internet safety. Or you can teach them yourself. Don’t lose patience if they get confused. Be gentle but be firm in explaining how to use computers, Zoom, and how not to fall for scams.
If you want to learn more about the survey or wish to avail of tech services for the elderly, go to www.candootech.com.