Bridge the Gap: Seniors and Technology in the Age of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about numerous challenges and disruptions in our daily lives. One area that has been particularly affected is the way we interact with technology. As schools, offices, and social events have moved online, seniors who may have been previously hesitant to use technology are now faced with a steep learning curve. In response, a movement called “Bridge the Gap” has emerged to help seniors navigate the world of technology.
The “Bridge the Gap” movement aims to help seniors overcome their fears of using technology by providing them with access to resources and support. This includes providing virtual training sessions, phone or video chat support, and instructional materials. By empowering seniors with the tools they need to use technology, they can stay connected with their loved ones and continue to participate in activities that are now taking place online.
One of the main obstacles that seniors face is a lack of access to technology. Many seniors may not have a computer, tablet, or smartphone and may not have the financial means to purchase one. This is where community organizations and government programs can step in to provide access to technology. For example, the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program provides discounted phone and internet services to qualifying low-income consumers.
Another obstacle that seniors face is the complexity of technology. The interface and terminology used by devices and apps can be overwhelming for seniors who are not accustomed to using them. This is where user-friendly technology can come to the rescue. Companies such as GrandPad have created tablets specifically designed for seniors. These devices have simplified interfaces, large buttons, and preloaded apps that are relevant to seniors’ interests, such as news, games, and health resources.
Beyond addressing access and complexity, the “Bridge the Gap” movement also aims to shift the narrative around seniors and technology. Rather than viewing seniors as a demographic that is resistant to technology, the movement recognizes that seniors are capable of learning and adapting to new technology. In fact, seniors have a lot to gain from using technology, including increased social connectivity, access to health resources, and entertainment options.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to innovate and adapt in many ways, including the way we use technology. For seniors, the pandemic has underscored the importance of being able to access and use technology to stay connected and engaged. Through the “Bridge the Gap” movement, we can work to ensure that seniors are not left behind in the digital age. By providing seniors with the tools and resources they need to use technology, we can help them stay connected and engaged with their families and communities, which is especially important during these challenging times.