Residents Sharing their Knowledge of Technology with Others
Hingham, MA -- These days, it's not only young people who are using technology to stay connected and make their lives easier. According to a recent report from Pew Research, a record number of older adults now use smartphones about two-thirds of people age 65 and over go online, with 75% of those going online on a daily basis. A full 67% of older adults now use the internet, which represents a jump of 55 percentage points compared to 20 years ago.
That's why Linden Ponds, an Erickson Living developed and managed retirement community in Hingham, MA, makes it easy for residents to enhance their lives with technology. People living at Linden Ponds can take advantage of high-speed WiFi, on-site tech support and access to MyErickson, 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.
Retired television news photographer Don Mitchell is one of the many tech-savvy residents at Linden Ponds. Don has owned computers for over 30 years, and he is now a dedicated Mac user. In addition to his desktop computer, he also uses an iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis for internet browsing, getting driving directions and processing photos. He also packs his digital devices when he and his wife, Joan, are vacationing.
"We travel a lot and we're able to book transportation and hotels online," he says. 'We can find restaurants including menus, use the GPS to get us there, and see pictures of the area before we leave."
Don also enjoys sharing his knowledge of technology with his Linden Ponds neighbors. He assists Liz Patton, community TV and AV manager, with iPad workshops.
"I saw that some residents needed help with their iPads, so I work with Liz to give advice when I'm able," he says.
"Age is irrelevant when it comes to each person's digital journey. More than ever, seniors are online and incorporating the internet and online activities into their everyday lives. Our goal at Erickson Living 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 are ideal setting 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 news, accessing social media sites, and making purchases."
There are over 100 resident-run clubs and committees at Linden Ponds, a not-for-profit organization, developed and operated 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. Many of the groups give their members opportunities to use technology. Community services manager Molly Lynch St. John says the resident newsletter, world issues discussion group and the amateur radio club are just a few of the groups that utilize technology.
Patton says the recent launch of the MyErickson app has helped many residents embrace technology. While some are reluctant at first to try out new technology, Patton and her colleague Tom McGivern are able to support them through the process. Patton says any anxiety or frustration people may have felt initially quickly turns to joy once they learn how to use the MyErickson app to make their daily lives easier.
"It's so amazing to walk around the campus and to see residents everywhere using their smart phones to talk to friends and relatives," Patton says. "And now they are accessing accounts, checking menus and meal balances, and keeping up with campus news and events. They feel more connected."
Photo: Retired television news photographer Don Mitchell is one of the many tech-savvy residents at Linden Ponds.
About Linden Ponds: Linden Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Hingham, Massachusetts. The not-for-profit community of more than 1300 residents and 800 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 about Linden Ponds can be found at LindenPonds.com.