Future of Technology for Seniors – Impressions from CES Day 1

Listening to experts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) gauging the technology demands to meet the future needs of seniors it is apparent the industry is still guessing.

Just what will our senior loved ones need from technology for their future? What will we as loved ones and/or caregivers need to give our loved ones to help make their lives as safe, healthy and enjoyable as we can?

Do you as a caregiver of a senior loved one desire everyday products that are easy for your senior to use? Is your preference more toward devices and tools that are easy to install … to troubleshoot when there are problems … to upgrade, or even replace, as the needs of your loved one changes.

Emilio Pardo of AARP stated at the CES Silvers Summit that many see the future need for learning how to adapt to the latest technology and adopt it to our seniors’ lifestyles.  Pardo told industry at the Summit they need to find ways to bring technology together with social networking possibilities to meet senior’s specific desire for purpose.

We at Senior Care Corner feel that technology for its own sake should not be an objective, but that technology has value as it solves a problem or otherwise helps improve seniors’ lives.

A sentiment expressed at Silvers Summit is that manufacturers have historically decided their vision of the technology needs of seniors and pushed that vision to consumers and caregivers as devices developed and marketed based on their view. One message from speakers at Silvers Summit is that manufacturers should look to seniors to ask how they WANT to live their lives and then develop technology to support them. We think a blended approach is needed.

We feel the industry should be looking to seniors for their visions of their futures.  Yes, that is plural, but there is not one “senior vision” simply because seniors have individual wants, needs and situations. It would be naive, though, to ask or expect that technology developers rely totally on seniors’ view of their needs.  The vision of individuals (of all ages) is often limited by what they see as possible.

Many technological advances that have improved our lives resulted from a visionary going outside what others viewed as possible. We need to continue benefiting from those visionaries. We still need their ideas.

We applaud the mission of Silvers Summit and the efforts of its organizers for getting such great speakers to bring the message of “silvers” to the technology industry.

Technology options are needed that facilitate seniors, either directly or through the family members and caregivers who assist them, in living the lives they desire AS they desire.

Whether our senior loved ones want to live as long as possible alone in their own home, in the homes of loved ones or in a senior living facility, we need technology that fits each senior’s activity needs, helps them stay mentally stimulated and enables them to connect with their families, caregivers and communities.

And that was just one aspect of the 1st day of CES!

2 thoughts on “Future of Technology for Seniors – Impressions from CES Day 1”

  1. Remembering my parent’s struggles with ALL things tech – heck I could never teach them to program their VCR – all I can say is that SIMPLE is best. Maybe more voice-controlled technology like with the new iPhone will help seniors if that technology can really understand them.

    Social Media can open up much for our seniors but access to it in a way they can really understand is what needs to be created!

    • Bruce-We are glad you agree, social media is so vital for our seniors. There are so many options open to them to engage and share with family members that may not happen without joining in social media especially from a distance! One big theme of the CES conference for seniors and all of us was to make it simple! Connect everything and breakdown silos but it has to be easy to understand, use and troubleshoot. Martin Cooper, credited with inventing the first cell phone, says the owner’s manual shouldn’t weigh more than the phone! How true!! Tactile technology as in the iPad has simplified things for seniors and we expect more tech to be even more user friendly in the future. Thanks!


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