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#2 Industrial Park Road

Monmouth, IL 61462

Phone: 800-228-5993

Fax: 309-734-5338

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Serving Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Schuyler, Rock Island, and Warren Counties.

Western Illinois Home Health Care

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As I prepare to start my online Masters in Social Work program in a few weeks, I am running into many challenges with technology. I am in my 30's and thought of myself as pretty tech savvy but now I realize that being out of college for 13 years has really set me back in regards to using programs and software that function differently from what I am used to. I am excited to be connected to others in college from all over the country which would have seemed impossible many years ago.  


My new endeavor has caused me to reflect on the aging population that I work with and the challenges they may have in trying to stay up to speed with technological advances. I once visited a 90 year old lady who lived in a very isolated area. She told me that every night she communicates through email with all of her grandchildren. I left there thinking how incredible this was, as I usually see elderly people in their home who are missing their families because their families aren’t able to visit as much as they would like. It got me thinking that if older adults were connected with technology it wouldn’t be so hard to get the socialization that they so desperately need.  


According to a research article by Pew Research Center, more seniors (age 65 and older) are using technology and more than half of older adults are Internet users.  Although this is exciting news, the use of technology drops significantly with people 70 and older.


Some older adults are skeptical of smart phones and the Internet which creates a barrier to utilize technology. Pew Research Center also noted that 77% of older adults in their study said they would need someone to walk them through and teach them how to use a device or technology in order to do it. Think of your own family members who are aging. Have you ever tried to help them get connected through a cell phone or Internet? I think family members need to be open to discuss and entertain the idea that with some education and instruction, maybe older adults would actually benefit from being connected with technology. It might even reduce some strain on long distance caregivers and families that can’t always be there every day.  


Aside from online family communication, what are some other ways this might benefit older adults?  

We will see more older adults who are tech savvy in the years to come. This will change what it looks like to age at home. In the meantime we need to explore ways to help the older adults we love and care for get connected in ways they might be comfortable with. Our home health care services are using technology more and more to deliver health care and supportive services in your home, including the ability to log onto a family web-portal and look at care plans and personal assistant schedules for the week. They also will be able to communicate directly with our office staff on health concerns or scheduling.  


If you or someone you know is in need of support in their home, please call us at 800-228-5993 for help coordinating services.


Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care


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January 2017

by Amanda Powell

Aging with Technology