Baby Boomers consider high-speed Internet access more crucial to communities than grocery stories or access to hospitals.
It is a comedy cliché that older people are clueless or wary about technology, but a recent study finds that baby boomers as well as members of Generation X place a high value on technology, especially as it relates to assisting them in being able to age in place. But playing in to the stereotype, they do wish their parents were savvier when it comes to technology use.
More than half (53 percent) of Boomers and Gen Xers believe it would be a good thing if their parents used technology more with 45 percent of these stating that it will help them stay better connected with friends and family, according to the survey released by Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Responsibility for aging parents is a primary concern for nearly half (48 percent) of Millionaires surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner. This concern is heightened among respondents ages 45-54 (61 percent).
Only 9 percent of respondents to the GSEI survey believe that their parents are savvy or extremely savvy when it comes to technology use, and encourage them to utilize monitoring technologies, such as home health monitors (45 percent) or security systems (43 percent). However, only 17 percent are using home health monitors and 12 percent have a security system, the survey found.
Four-in-ten Boomers and Gen Xers said their parents think technology is “too hard” to learn. The degree of difficulty, they said, discourages use. The survey cites statistics that only 18 percent of seniors over 65 own a smartphone, while 56 percent use the Internet.
As for Boomers themselves, independence is a priority as they age. Ninety-six percent said it was important to maintain their independence as they age, while 91 percent would like to age in place.
According to a wealth level study of Millionaires conducted by Millionaire Corner, nearly six-in-ten said they are concerned about spending their final years in a care facility, while half (51 percent) fret about having someone to care for them in their old age.
They are down with technology as a way to help them maintain their independence. Six-in-ten said they would be interested in technology such as ovens with automatic shutoff, while 46 percent would be interested in a single remote control that would manage their entire household, the GSEI survey found.
High-speed Internet access was cited by 80 percent of Boomers as the most important factors for their communities, followed by grocery stores and access to hospitals.
Related story: Boomers not feeling tech anxiety
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.