Community offers opportunities for seniors to learn and apply digital tools to support active lifestyle
Novi, Mich. – Technology use among seniors continues to increase, and research shows that the group is now more digitally connected than ever before. In fact, according to a recent report from Pew Research, a record number of adults age 65 and over now own smartphones, and about two-thirds go online, with 75 percent of those going online on a daily basis. A full 67 percent of older adults now use the internet, which represents a jump of 55 percentage points compared to 20 years ago.
That's why Fox Run, a continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living, is making it easy for residents to enhance their lives with technology. Residents at Fox Run can take advantage of high-speed WiFi available throughout the community, on-site tech support and access to My Erickson, a digital app that provides residents with easy access to all kinds of information about life on campus, including maps and phone numbers, messages, dining menus, activity calendars, transit schedules, local directories, staff information and much more.
"When it comes to an individual's digital journey, age is irrelevant. More than ever, seniors are online and incorporating the internet and digital activities into their everyday lives. Our goal at Fox Run and all of our communities is to meet residents where they are in their technology adoption and for those interested, offer opportunities to increase their digital skills as they enjoy an engaging lifestyle," says Erickson Living's Chief Information Officer Hans Keller.
"By providing state of the art technologies and onsite support services, our campuses like Fox Run are ideal settings for residents to utilize an array of digital devices that help keep them connected with family and friends, as well as for other daily activities, such as getting their news, accessing favorite social media sites, and making purchases," he further noted.
Fox Run resident Beverly Stein began her career as a teacher and then worked in the mortgage banking industry, where she frequently used computers. Now that she is retired and living at Fox Run, technology is still a big part of her daily life. She frequently goes online using both a laptop and her Android smartphone.
One of Beverly's favorite apps is Lyft, which she can use to order a ride at the touch of a button. She pulls up Google maps when she needs directions, and logs onto Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, including her four children and nine grandchildren.
Fox Run has over 100 resident-run clubs and committees and many of them create opportunities for their members and others to become more tech-savvy, including for beginners.
Community resources coordinator Megan Smith says several resident groups, including the Genealogical Society, the iPad Club, and the Current Events Discussion Group, all utilize technology.
"A large number of groups also use email to communicate with their members," Smith says.
Easy access, every day
Many residents now use technology on a daily basis, thanks to My Erickson, a free proprietary app that can be installed on laptops, tablets and smartphones. It is part of Fox Run's efforts to offer technology to residents that empowers them to gather information that supports their vibrant retirement lifestyle. Whether they want to browse the TV guide, see the shuttle bus schedule, or check the times of upcoming social events, that information is available right from their digital device.
Beverly says she often uses the My Erickson app to plan her days at Fox Run. She says the app is useful for finding neighbors' telephone numbers and email addresses as well as contact information for local businesses. She also uses it to pay her monthly service package and to electronically sign out of the community instead of checking out at the front desk. My Erickson is also handy at mealtimes.
"You can see the dining specials, what is going to be served at the different restaurants each night," Beverly says. "You can pull up the menus and check your meal balance."
This year, My Erickson is being integrated with Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant so those on campus can access community information via voice command. For Fox Run residents, it's an exciting time as technology continues to evolve, offering a variety of ways to make the community's maintenance-free retirement lifestyle even easier and more convenient while also providing greater opportunities to connect and engage with neighbors, friends and family.
Fox Run is a not-for-profit organization, developed and managed by Erickson Living®. The community is governed by its own board of directors affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community.
About Fox Run: Fox Run, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Novi, Michigan. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,300 residents and 750 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of the community. Additional information can be found at FoxRunNovi.com.
Photo Caption: Beverly Stein logs on to her laptop from the comfort of her stylish and spacious apartment home at Fox Run, where many residents are increasingly leveraging technology to make the most of their retirement lifestyle.