Multigenerational attitudes toward technology for healthy aging
A recent article presents an overview of the GenerationTech survey and describes attitudes and acceptance related to technology in general and as a means to support active and healthy aging. It’s a fascinating read with messages for active-aging organizations, and the full text is available for downloading.
The survey was conducted with a random sample of 2,121 men and women from three generations (30–39, 50–59, and 70–79-year-olds) in Sweden. The generations had in common some attitudes toward and acceptance of technologies for active and healthy aging. However, the kinds of technologies preferred to support active and healthy aging and the reasons for using them differed by generation. According to the authors, the findings could help guide the development and implementation of technologies for active and healthy aging throughout the aging process.
To support active and healthy aging, overall, respondents preferred using household devices, home entertainment, exercise devices, and assistive devices. Notably, the oldest (70–79 years) generation was significantly less interested in using activity sensors, exercise devices, personal health sensors, medical technologies, smart homes, welfare technologies, home and social robots, Internet shopping, and Internet services to support active and healthy aging. The youngest (30–39 years) generation was significantly less interested in using household devices, home entertainment, motorized vehicles, and social media to support active and healthy aging. The middle-aged (50–59 years) generation compared to the oldest generation was significantly more interested in using assistive devices, personal emergency response systems, and social media to support active and healthy aging.
Overall, the main reasons for wanting to use technologies were to be independent, remain in contact with friends and family, be physically active, and notify someone in case of a fall or illness. The oldest generation compared to the other generations was significantly less interested in using technologies to save time, feel safe, monitor health, control home entertainment, and access services, for pleasure and entertainment or shopping. The middle-aged generation compared to the youngest generation was significantly less interested in using technologies to save time.
“The responses show that price, technology allowing flexible use and standard rather than extra functions matter when choosing new products,” the authors note. “Overall, respondents [learned] new products easily and had no problems keeping up with technology development. The oldest generation especially considered environmental sustainability important when adopting new technologies. Always wanting the latest was not considered an important factor when adopting new technologies for most respondents.”
SOURCE: Offerman J, et al. Nature Aging (April 6, 2023).