HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — When it comes to finances, many things can now be done online. The pandemic has made knowing how to do that more important–especially for seniors.
“Nearly two-thirds of users who are over age 50 and who use their smart phones and electronic devices everyday were not using those devices to take advantage of opportunities of financial technology,” says Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation.
During the pandemic, Ryerson says it’s crucial seniors learn how to use digital tools to manage their money. But for many, it’s not happening. She says that needs to change.
“I think part of it is about the stigma that older adults really feel about their ability to be tech-savvy and also it is the need for more resources,” Ryerson explains. “I think that for trying to teach someone older about how to use these tools, the worry is that they won’t understand, and the worry on their part is that you’re talking down to them[…]is there some kind of balance that you can do that so both sides get through to each other?”
According to Ryerson, society perpetuates the stereotype that as people get older, they get more out of touch with technology. “[The thought is], maybe we won’t want to learn technology and nothing could be further from the truth.”
Online services including banking and grocery shopping are important for older populations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ryerson says the way others can help to make it easier for seniors is very simple.
“We need to reach out to our neighbors and loved ones and show them[…] walk them through how to use these tools. Once we do that, we find that older adults of all ages become much more confident in using the tools,” says Ryerson, “so it’s about education and empowerment.”
Remember to celebrate what’s going right, and have seniors practice more often.
Also, Don’t forget to warn them about scams and the importance of creating strong passwords.