Seniors need technology more than ever during COVID-19

“The technology, we are certainly fortunate to have, it’s more fortunate that we’re choosing to apply it in new novel ways.”
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 12:19 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Seniors today are faced with a dilemma during the coronavirus pandemic. Due to them being some of the most vulnerable to the virus, most are being told to stay home and only go out when needed, and this is putting the importance of technology front and center.

Unfortunately not all of them are adapting to the new technological world, according to Shawna Wasko at the Office on Aging.

“I think it’s been really pretty slow for our people say over 80," she said. “It’s such a new technology to them.”

One doctor with St. Luke’s told KMVT the older population utilizing technology is beneficial for the medical field for more reasons than just COVID-19.

“You know, even before coronavirus we had some folks, you know 90 years of age, that were coming to see me in a snow storm and there’s risks with that,” said Dr. Nathan Allen with St. Luke’s Clinic. “Sometimes maybe it’s not necessary, maybe they’re coming to check their blood pressure, and maybe they have an electronic blood pressure cuff at home, so we could meet on the telephone and they can check their blood pressure in front of me and I can record the numbers.”

Wasko says learning new technology can help bring family together.

“I really think the fun ones to teach you are the grandkids, who just sit there and say grandma, ‘I’m going to call you. I’m going to sit right next to you,’ and it’s just a fun experience, for both of them,” Wasko said.

And during these uncertain times, it’s as important as ever that people utilize new technology to help their seniors stay safe and healthy.

“The technology we are certainly fortunate to have," Allen said. “It’s more fortunate that we’re choosing to apply it in new novel ways because when used appropriately, it’s a remarkable tool.”

And while some senior centers are still closed, many offer classes to learn how to operate computers and cellphones.

“I think that it’s wonderful," Wasko said. "I know when the senior centers were open they had computer classes. And I love the classes where they just teach them how to use an iPhone.”

So whether it’s connecting with family or talking with a doctor, it’s all about staying connected.

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