How Seniors Are Using Digital Assistants

Posted by Julie Huang on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:46 PM

“Hey Google, remind me to take my medication at 8:00 a.m.”

Think your residents are “too old” to take advantage of emerging technology? Think again.

Not too long ago, seniors were a bit shy about using innovative technology. Maybe it was too new. Maybe it seemed too confusing. Or maybe they didn’t know anyone else who was using it. But times are changing. And attitudes are changing with them.

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Seniors are using more tech than you think.

In 2013, only 18% of Americans 65 or older owned a smartphone. That number doubled over the next few years to hit 42% by 2017. This impressive increase leaves even more room for growth as digital assistants bring seniors easier access to information and new opportunities for independence.

According to surveys by Pew Research Center, older adults tend to lack confidence in using electronic devices, compared to younger age groups. Digital assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, are much more intuitive than their visually-driven counterparts and can make setup and usage much easier. Seniors can easily get answers to their questions from these stand-alone devices without having to navigate complex interfaces. All they have to do is ask.

Voice Search for Seniors        

Smart technology isn’t about changing the way that people do things. It’s about helping them accomplish their goals more easily and efficiently. Digital assistants allow seniors to search the internet for the answers that they need without ever having to look at a screen or visit a website.

“Hey Google, Ask Recycle Coach if I can recycle wrapping paper,” opens up the digital assistant database, where residents can get verbal answers to their waste and recycling questions quickly and easily.

“I got my mom a Google Home for Christmas,” said Sarah, a Passaic County resident. “Within a few hours, she was asking it for everything. Checking the weather, asking it for movie times, setting timers. I was surprised how easy it was for her to use.”

With digital assistants and chatbot usage on the rise; it’s no longer enough to just list information on your website. Residents need to be able to access the information that they’re looking for when and where they are looking for it.

Digital Assistants and Seniors

One in five adults aged 65 or older views him- or herself as an early tech adopter. With 58% of seniors agreeing that technology has had a positive effect on society, older residents have a generally positive outlook on new innovations.

The future of how seniors interact with technology looks bright.  And you can put your municipality at the cutting edge of recycling EdTech with Recycle Coach.


RC_logo BLUE.png About Recycle Coach: Recycle Coach specializes in digital solutions for municipal and private waste management services to effectively educate and engage residents. Our technology platforms for web, mobile, and digital assistants focus on education and encouragement to help residents to be better recyclers, with the goal of inspiring positive and lasting change in communities around the world. It is our constant innovation and scalability of services that allow us to meet the needs of over 3000 communities across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.  

To view all of our free resources for Waste Management Professionals, please click here

To learn more about how Recycle Coach can help you reach and educate more residents faster, please click here

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