Do you know an older person who is too intimidated to use a computer to access the Internet, exchange e-mail with family and friends, or view photos of the latest family gathering posted online? It’s not unusual for a person over the age of 60 to be hesitant about using a computer.
Unlike younger generations, these seniors didn’t use computers in the classroom and may never have used one in their work lives, either. Now they may think it’s too hard to learn to use a computer in their personal lives. Whereas young people will simply put their hands on technology they have never used before and “give it a try,” older people sometimes have a fear that something will go wrong.
For a novice computer user of any age, but especially for elderly people, the typical user interface can be overwhelming. Even with a graphical user interface, it’s not intuitively obvious what a person is supposed to do to open and read an e-mail message, create a document or file, or perform other common tasks.
Now, HP is collaborating with technology partners to create simple solutions that address the needs of seniors who are new to computing. Specially designed PC packages for seniors provide easy accessibility to communications, entertainment, and personal management tools designed expressly for the needs of older computer users.
For the baby boomer generation born between 1946 and 1964, 2011 marks a significant milestone. In that year, the first of these boomers -- some 78 million in the U.S. -- reached age 65. With 12% of the U.S. population now age 65 or older, the influx of boomers into the senior ranks will have a profound impact on everything from public policy to accessibility, for a wide range of products and services.
And as the older population continues to grow over the next 18 to 20 years, demand for independent accessibility to electronic resources and information will be greater than ever.
Most people in their 50s and 60s begin to experience some level of vision, hearing, or dexterity impairment, which only worsens over time. Yet most seniors continue to live active and engaged lifestyles well into their elder years. So while their needs may be different, seniors can continue to enrich their lives in the digital age.
All it takes is the right computer package -- like the SeniorPC Offering from Microsoft. This was designed with an understanding of the accessibility issues facing older users, as well as the types of tools and applications most relevant to this growing segment of the population.
HP and Microsoft have long been committed to developing offerings that bring the benefits of technology to everyone. Now, with SeniorPC packages combining Microsoft technology with HP hardware, we extend this philosophy to make computing easy and rewarding for seniors -- even if they have never used computers before.