As people grow older, it has often been considered harder to participate in family businesses, and in the past seniors may have had to pass on company responsibilities to their younger generations. However, technology is changing all of that. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that employment of all workers aged 65 and over has increased by 101 percent, since 1977. Seniors are living longer, too, reports the Administration for Community Living. This leads to seniors working longer, and technology has a part to play.
Benefits of the Internet
As businesses increasingly move online, technology provides a means of communicating more effectively with each other. Where there were once telegrams, there are messaging platforms such as Slack, where groups of people are easily able to collaborate on projects. This wouldn’t have been possible in the past, where workers would need to be in an office, or conference room, together. This benefits the elderly who are perhaps more suited to staying at home, or residing at an assisted living facility, because they’ll be able to continue with participation in their family business.
For example, if the family business involves selling a service or product, a senior who would usually have been on the shop floor and is no longer able to, could apply their years of expertise to the online side of the business. Writing compelling copy to explain the services of the business is very important, after all. This is just one way a senior would be able to stay involved with the family business, even when they’re at their home.
In the past, seniors could have easily struggled to get to grips with new technology, and they would’ve had a hard time trying to find a solution to meet their needs. However, now there are lots of tools built into products like computers that make life a lot easier for seniors. These are known as Accessibility Settings. Modern computers have the ability to easily zoom in on things, magnifying them for those who struggle to see, and they can also use voice over technology to read words from the screen.
Computers can also be set up to play audio descriptions for those hard of hearing, and subtitles can be switched on, too. If they have trouble typing, dictation is an option, as are larger keyboards that are easier to type with. There is even pointing device technology that will allow the mouse to be controlled on the screen using eye, or head tracking technology. Nowadays, there are lots of programs that will make using a computer easier for those who need a little extra help.
Updated: February 23, 2017