Politics / Press Releases

You Can Teach ‘An Old Dog New Tricks,’ says AMAC

senior technology phone computer21st Century technology is bettering the lives of seniors

WASHINGTON, DC – The use of technology among seniors is growing at an unprecedented rate, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].  “According to several recent studies, more and more older Americans are using smart phones, computers and the Internet in their daily lives than ever before,” says AMAC president Dan Weber.

Smart phone usage among seniors, for example, is up 24% over the past five years, according to a Pew Research Center study.  Pew says that that 59% of 65 to 69 year olds and 49% of 70 to 74 year olds use smart phones.

Pew has been tracking the adoption of  new technology among various segments of the population for some 15 years.  And, in that period of time the Research Center says Internet usage among the 65-plus population grew from 14% to 67%.

Sarah Stevensen, who writes about the elderly, says that “not only are cell phones crucial to helping seniors stay connected with friends and family, they may also help perform critical safety functions like providing medication reminders and GPS locations.”

Overall, she adds, “today’s technology can keep seniors engaged, connected, mentally active, and physically safe, making it increasingly important for our loved ones to keep in the high-tech loop.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association says “Technology is fundamentally changing the way we live – and active aging tech can dramatically improve our lives as we age.  These innovative, connected technologies not only enable seniors to live safer, healthier and longer lives – whether through personal health technology or remote monitoring solutions – they also allow their caregivers to be more closely connected while they care for their aging loved ones. More, these consumer benefits can translate into billions of dollars in savings for the U.S. healthcare industry.”

There’s widespread agreement that technological innovations such as Face Time and Skype are particularly important for the well being of seniors – particularly those who have long-distance relationships with friends and family, says AMAC’s Weber.

“Simply put, they allow them to stay in touch and engage in social interaction that can aid memory and relieve the feeling of isolation that can cause depression.  Unlike a phone call, these technologies allow us to have face-to-face contact.  The old saying claims that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ but today’s old dogs are bettering their lives with the help of new tricks they are learning with the help of 21st Century technological innovation.”


The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at http://amac.us/join-amac.

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Who says that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? … The telephone utility companies certainly learned some new tricks! I used to pay Ma Bell about $60 month, now i’m paying them close to $170 month for my iPhone 5, my mini iPad, my internet and my android tablet. And now i’m receiving phone calls from numerous out of state solicitors and unwanted emails where somebody sells my email address. What’s next? Seniors hooked on video games? Nah, arthritic pain in the fingers should guarantee that that won’t happen. Unless of course, video Bingo catches on.

Gene Gray

Relevant article, but now what? Some of us “old dogs” don’t have a clue where to start learning new tricks. Would it not have been a good idea to include places where we could go to get help with learning the new tricks?

Martin Steed

Gee, if you want cheap, it’s out there. I got an older android through horizon that gives me a flat rate of $60 a month. I use it for phone, text, email, directions, Google searches, AND I’m typing this comment on it. Don’t whine, look around.

Brian B

I purchased a smartphone out of necessity because the communications industries were leaving me behind. While I find some of it’s features useful, I honestly hate it’s demand for my attention. It’s like adopting a pet that constantly needs to be fed and groomed. Tech companies have intentionally made their devices demanding of our attention because the more “connected” we are, the more money they make from advertising dollars.