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Technology Helping Seniors Stay Connected

Technology is helping seniors connect to the world. It’s impacting the way they live their lives and how they communicate with loved ones. According to AARP, growing numbers of seniors are welcoming new technologies, as WBFO Seniors News Desk reporter Sandy White found out.

Technology is talking, listening and waiting to answer your questions, turn on the lights, pay your bills, find you a restaurant, turn down the thermostat and even tell you a joke.

"How did the telephone propose to his girlfriend? He gave her a ring.”

If you think the new digital frontier is intimidating seniors, think again. According to the Pew Research Center, younger seniors are keeping pace with the under 65 group.

“I like it that I can go on Facebook and I can Google and If I’m lost, I can go on Mapquest,” said 65-year-old Sandra Barth.

Randy Hoak, Associate State Director of AARP of New York, says he has noticed in recent years seniors steadily embrace technology.

“I think we see the most activity with smartphones, laptops, desktops tablets in the 50-65 age group, but with certainly a lot of adoption in the 60-70 age group. Once you get over 70, you see a drop-off.”

We took a quick poll of the over-75 crowd at an active card game at the Kenmore Community Center.

“We have none of those new devices because we talk together at the senior center. So, you don’t need the technology, not at all,” said one senior.

But that’s not the case for 73-year-old Hamburg retiree James Connolly, who prefers a world with technology. He even tweets.

“It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It keeps us so connected to people that maybe you wouldn’t have been so much,” Connolly said.

The father of four children and 12 grandchildren threw away his flip phone when he realized he could get broader news sources quickly, reach out to his son in London on Facetime and connect with friends.

“On the average day, I get up in the morning, probably in the first 15-20 minutes, I’ll take a look at what’s on there and scan my email and see if someone tried to get me.”

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