Seniors enjoy benefits of ICT to communicate with younger generations

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August 13, 2014, 15:00 (CEST)

  • Technology helps improve quality of life for seniors
  • Texting now used to communicate with children and grandchildren
  • Video calling beginning to catch on with older generation
  • Gap between seniors who embrace ICT and those who are yet to take the plunge.

A new study from Ericsson ConsumerLab carried out in the United States shows that seniors who use communications technology feel more enriched, informed, younger and more in touch with others and society.

This is the first generation of seniors who are able to utilize a wider range of communication technology in older age. Those who have taken up the technology feel more enriched, informed, young, and in touch with others as well as what is happening in society. In short, they feel they have an improved quality of life. The study found that the use of communication technology is bridging the gap between generations in a way that has never been the case with previous generations. Children and grandchildren can share their technology expertise, teaching and giving support to their parents and relatives and creating a common ground in their relationship.

With the growing presence of technology in today's daily life, there is an increasing digital divide between generations, but also within the older age group, with a majority who have not yet embraced usage of smartphones, tablets and new services.

Among the strongest influences for seniors to start using new communication modes are children and grandchildren. Texting has migrated to this generation from their younger relatives. This development is decreasing both voice and email usage, as seniors discover that younger generations prefer to communicate by text.

With its bigger screen and user-friendly interface, the tablet is an attractive device for 65-75 year olds, and is likely to increase in popularity for this generation.

Video calling is just beginning to catch on with the seniors who were interviewed.

Ann-Charlotte Kornblad, Senior Advisor, Consumer Insights at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: "They see it as a perfect tool, with its easy handling enabling them to have conversations with close friends and family. It also allows for the details and circumstances of life to be shared."

The results of the "Connecting the Senior Generation" report can be read in full here.

Ericsson ConsumerLab conducted 30 interviews with seniors between the ages of 65 and 75 in the San Francisco area, with an additional eight in-home interviews also carried out.

NOTES TO EDITORS

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ConsumerLab report, Young professionals at work

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Our services, software and infrastructure - especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud - are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

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Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2013 were SEK 227.4 billion (USD 34.9 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.

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