It seems like only yesterday we were debating whether or not older adults would use email and the Internet. New research shows that Americans ages 65 and older are online and engaged.
For the first time, more than half of people ages 65 and older are online, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. While the aging of the baby boomers has a significant impact on that growth, it’s more than just the boomer effect.
The Pew Internet study, “Older Adults and Internet Use” finds that 53 percent of Americans ages 65 and older use the Internet or email. Here are some other facts about the 65-and-older market online:
Family caregivers also increasingly rely on the Internet for information and communication. Eight in ten caregivers (79 percent) have access to the Internet. Of those, 88 percent look online for health information, according to the Pew Internet study “Family Caregivers Online.”
“Caregivers use the Internet to navigate the frontier of home health care,” says Susannah Fox, an associate director of the Pew Internet Project and lead author of the study. “Caregivers not only care for their loved one’s physical and emotional needs, but their information needs as well, and the Internet is a key resource.”
Whether you are a business catering to the older consumer and trying to generate business leads or an agency or nonprofit trying to increase awareness of your service, it’s clear that being online is imperative. You need to have a plan on how to reach and engage your audience online.
On August 16, ASA’s Business Forum on Aging will host a webinar, “Social Media: Are You Ready to Engage Your Clients and Customers?” Join us to learn more about what older adults are doing online and what organizations are doing to reach and engage them.
Laura Rossman is Principal, OutsideInsite, and Chair of ASA’s Business Forum on Aging Council. You can reach Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was brought to you by the editorial committee of ASA’s Business Forum on Aging (BFA).
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