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That’s Right: Grandma’s on Facebook!

Dana Larsen
By Dana LarsenJune 20, 2012

Getting online in senior living is as normal, if not more normal, than playing Bingo these days. According to Pew Research Center and Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 53% of seniors are getting online and using the Internet, 34% are networking on social media sites and 86% are using email.

That’s right — grandma’s on Facebook and Twitter. You may want to ‘watch your P’s and Q’s’ in your daily posts and tweets. It turns out that seniors of today are becoming savvier when it comes to technology and keeping-up with their grandchildren. After all, why should all the fun be for the younger generations when iPads have such engaging apps, and webcams make long-distance communication with families so much easier? Well, simply put, it’s not. Many baby boomer grandmas and grandpas are hip and well-informed when it comes to modern-day technology.

Actually, as one of the administrators for A Place for Mom’s Facebook page, I have to admit that there’s no shortage of participation from our largely senior audience from across the U.S. Whether it’s sharing stories, posting comments, participating in polls or just bringing expertise to specific conversations surrounding caregiving, senior living, aging and health or interesting news; I continue to be impressed by the insightful and shrewdly-informed demographic.

Technology and The Aging Population

If you think about how different the world is in today’s Information Age, it’s impressive that seniors have been able to evolve with the changing times. However, if you think again — many seniors of today have worked in the business world and have had to keep up with the changing times. Retiring at age 60 is no longer the norm. In fact, according to a new Gallup poll, expectant retirement age has been steadily increasing since the mid 1990s and has reached a new expectant retirement age of 67. And retirement age is predicted to be age 70 in the next few years with the funding constraints in government health care, partially resulting from the exponentially growing senior population. So seniors are working longer and keeping up with technological changes in tandem with retirees keeping up with their families and computers for entertainment purposes, make for a pretty technologically-sound group.

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Six million more seniors are using the Web than five years ago, according to the Nielsen Company. In fact, the number of seniors using the Internet has increased by more than 55 % since 2004.

Are you curious how seniors are logging their hours? If the charts below are any indicator, you definitely should be prepared for grandma to be monitoring your Facebook profile… Just sayin’.

Dana Larsen
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Dana Larsen
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