Senior citizens are often stereotyped as being slow to adopt new technology. Because of this, members of younger generations may assume they would prefer to keep doing things the “old-fashioned way.” However, the results of a recent study by Pew Research suggest that things may be changing.
Seniors, Internet, and Devices
Pew Research investigated the technology and internet usage of U.S. adults ages 65 and older and found that while there is still a large gap between the young and the seasoned, today’s seniors are more digitally connected than ever. Their usage of the internet has grown significantly in recent years, especially among those aged 65-75. As of 2017, 67% of U.S adults aged 65+ reported using the internet, as compared to a mere 14% in the year 2000. About 1/3 of seniors are also using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on the news and to keep in touch with friends and family.
When it comes to devices, seniors seem to prefer tablets and smartphones. The large display and touchscreen are ideal for those that have difficulty reading small fonts and aren’t familiar with typing on a computer keyboard. As of May 2017, nearly a third of all U.S. seniors report owning a personal tablet, a double-digit increase since 2013, and 42% own a smartphone.
What does this mean for your practice?
The results of this study show that senior citizens may be more receptive to social media marketing and digital check-in forms than we tend to assume. Try taking advantage of Facebook’s free platform and make a business page for your practice. Keeping it regularly updated with promotions and posts encourages your older patients to interact with your page and share it with their friends.
When it comes to check-in forms, seniors may prefer digital forms to paper. Paper forms with small fonts can become difficult to read after being copied multiple times, and some seniors may have difficulty writing legibly on small lines and checking tiny boxes. Allowing your patients to check in on an iPad increases the readability of forms with clear, large text and images. And, as the research shows, there’s a good chance they already have experience using a device with a touchscreen.
The DentalForms app for iPad provides a clear, easily readable display and simple, intuitive forms that your older patients will appreciate.
Click here to see how DentalForms can help patients of all ages have a more enjoyable, user-friendly experience.
Lindsay Kyle, LindenWords