At a time when people 65 and older are one of the fastest-growing groups online and social media use among seniors is exploding, many older adults are embracing technology and incorporating it into their busy lives.
In 2014 three million (9%) U.S. households with seniors age 65 and older experienced food insecurity; 1.2 million that live alone also experienced food insecurity, according to the non-profit organization Feeding America. Poverty and food insecurity has been increasing in Massachusetts affecting more seniors than ever before.
Research indicates that travel is at the top of the list of activities that seniors and the aging baby boomer generation enjoy. And travel professionals report a rise in the number of tours designed for grandparents who want to spend time with their grandchildren — particularly during the holiday season. It’s true: today’s active seniors want to be part of the action and enjoy every moment of their next travel adventure.
Many seniors want to continue to live a life of purpose in retirement and have turned to volunteering to satisfy that desire. The medical community recognizes the benefits of charitable work to enhance the physical, spiritual, and mental stimulation of older adults.
Today’s technology entrepreneurs are rapidly responding to the many market opportunities for seniors and their caregivers, such as managing their health, living independently and maintaining family and social connections. Yet many technologies that come to market were not developed in collaboration with seniors and go on to fail because the promised functionality more often just produces frustration.
The creative arts are a way of life for the many resident artists who live in Hebrew SeniorLife’s independent living community at Orchard Cove. Our residents are always seeking new ways to stay active, keep social and remain creatively engaged. A variety of research documents show the value of creative stimulation to enhance cognition, improve wellness and foster interaction between seniors.
There is a growing interest in cognitive training as a means to help maintain cognition in healthy adults, and perhaps slow the progression of dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease in those at risk. Given that a cure for Alzheimer’s appears years away, and with the record number of adults reaching age 65 each day, there is no surprise that that the growth of the cognitive training industry over the last decade is in the billions of dollars.
At Hebrew SeniorLife we know that pairing seniors with students creates endless possibilities for meaningful connections that change lives. Students often volunteer at HSL to fill community service requirements—providing support in our sites, and bringing smiles to the faces of residents throughout the HSL network. Sometimes the connections between students and residents run deep, and we witness powerful interactions between our young volunteers and the residents they have befriended.