Pandemic forcing older Canadians to increase technology use: survey

 

As the pandemic rages on, the stereotype that older people don't know how to use technology may have to be left by the wayside.

In order to adapt to the changes we're facing as a society due to the spread of COVID-19, many older Canadians have begun to utilize online services and technologies they weren't previously using.

According to a recent AGE-WELL poll form Environics Research, 65 per cent of Canadians who are age 65 and older currently own a smartphone--an increase of seven per cent from 2019.

Further, 23 per cent of Canadians age 65 and older now use video calling on their smartphone--twice as many as those who did so a year ago. Of these, 60 per cent said they are doing so because of the pandemic.

However, it's not just video calling--older Canadians are taking to social media as well; 37 per cent said they have social media to communicate with friends and family, while 40 per cent said they do so now because of the pandemic.

Additionally, 19 per cent of Canadians age 65 and older are using online shopping for essential items such as groceries.

Moreover, based on the findings, 72 per cent of Canadians age 65 and older feel confident using current technology.

“With these findings, we can set aside any notion that older adults are technophobic. Most are unfazed by technology and they are using a lot of it during these challenging times,” Andrew Sixsmith, Scientific Co-Director of AGE-WELL, said in a news release.

“We were already seeing older adults using more technology, but COVID-19 is clearly a catalyst that is taking tech use to a new level," he continued.

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