A Senior's Approach To Cloud Computing



Article Written by Sally Perkins

Web accessibility, and cloud computing, in particular, can be of great value to seniors, making it easier to keep in touch with family and friends, obtain useful information, shop from the comfort of their homes and even pay bills. At present, approximately 67% of American adults over the age of 65 go online on a regular basis according to Pew Research Center.  While seniors are gradually warming up to emails, social media, and online banking, many are still completely oblivious to cloud storage and of what benefit it can be to them personally. Whereas it will be a relatively simple task to introduce cloud computing to a tech-savvy senior, it might require more effort to convince internet rookies of the same advantages.

Creating an interest in the world wide web

As we grow older it becomes increasingly difficult to embrace the technologies that are evolving at break-neck speed. Only 26% of senior internet users reported that they feel confident when using a computer according to a study conducted in 2015. There are also a number of physical and mental obstacles that can prevent a senior from utilizing the internet to his advantage.  Once these obstacles, which include limited mobility, impaired vision and a concern for online security have been identified and addressed, the benefits of cloud technology can be demonstrated. Seniors may not react well to long lists filled with technical jargon but will undoubtedly be impressed by a more hands-on demonstration of the power of cloud computing.

Cloud services for personal use

One of the greatest appeals of the cloud is the ability to share your special memories with family and friends (and experience theirs). Cloud services such as Dropbox, Google One, and OneDrive all offer seniors ease-of-access through user-friendly interfaces and advanced storage security for increased peace of mind. Photo albums, recipe files, games and video/music libraries can be shared with a few clicks of a button, contributing extensively towards a senior's ability to maintain a sense of independence and age in place.  

All is not lost when your PC crashes

Imagine having spent ages coaxing a senior into using a computer just to have it crash, losing thousands of photos and documents in the process? Expecting a senior to manually back up a hard drive is not viable, which is why making use of cloud storage is so valuable. Making use of a reputable cloud service to store photos, music, and other files will allow a user to access the information from anywhere at any time. Physical photo albums and CD collections can get stolen, damaged or deteriorate with age whereas files stored on the cloud are immune to all such occurrences.

The cloud also improves senior healthcare

Tracking a senior's health is becoming increasingly easier thanks to cloud technology.  There is no longer a need to search through countless documents when trying to locate important health-related information.  Cloud-based systems can enable seniors and their caregivers to keep medical records, medication schedules, contact numbers and other pertinent information well-organized and on-hand. As far as health care providers are concerned, more than half of US-based long-term senior healthcare providers are also making use of cloud technology to improve the quality of patient care, boost operational efficiency as well as HIPAA compliance.

As daunting as constant advances in technology may be, it is nothing to fear. Cloud computing, when understood and utilized in a responsible manner can have an immensely positive impact on the lives of seniors wanting to age in place.

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About the Author

Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.