Resident Tech Support Grows in Importance

CAST | March 12, 2022 | by Donna Childress

Discover LeadingAge CAST resources that help organizations develop tech support programs.

Tech support programs for residents are growing in importance as older adults use even more devices, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Senior Communities Add Tech Assistance as One of Their Perks.”
Couples are bringing five to seven devices with them into senior living communities, said Majd Alwan, Ph.D., CAST executive director and LeadingAge senior vice president of technology and business strategy, when interviewed for the article. Maintaining social ties is the main reason for older adults’ increased use of devices, he said.
Tech support programs have become popular because many older adults do not feel comfortable with using new technologies. The article quoted a recent Pew Research Center survey finding that over two-thirds of adults 75 and older (68%) needed help setting up and learning new devices, with 54% of Americans ages 65 to 74 in the same situation. 
Alwan noted that most senior living communities provide tech training and support for a fee, with LeadingAge members’ costs ranging from $12.50 to $25 for 15-minute sessions. Free help is also available, and may come from staff members, local volunteers, or other tech-savvy residents pitching in, he said.

LeadingAge CAST Offers Resident Technology Guide

Providers who want to provide resident tech support should check out the Resident/Client Technology Support and Training White Paper and Guide from LeadingAge CAST. It presents potential support, training, and business models for resident/client technology support. The resource includes a white paper, interactive guide, and case studies.
Two recent Tech Time articles provide even more insight. “Tech Concierges Benefit Independent Living” presents case studies from providers who have employed tech concierges for their residents. Another, “Tech Support Engages Affordable Housing Residents,” shows how LeadingAge member Eaton Senior Communities used a tech program, digital devices, and one-on-one help to engage and serve its residents.