Getting connected

Tech-friendly Linden Ponds allows seniors to live life more engaged

Created date

October 24th, 2019
Don Mitchell, a former television news photographer, and his wife Joan moved to Linden Ponds in 2018.

Don Mitchell, a former television news photographer, and his wife Joan moved to Linden Ponds in 2018. 

These days, young people aren’t the only ones using technology to stay connected and make their lives easier. In fact, people age 65 and older are embracing technology more than ever. 

According to a recent report from Pew Research, a record number of older adults now use smartphones. About two-thirds of people age 65 and older go online, with 75% of those going online on a daily basis. A full 67% of older adults now use the internet, which represents a jump of 55 percentage points compared to 20 years ago.  

That’s why Linden Ponds and its parent company, Erickson Living, offer options for residents to enhance their lives with technology. People living at the Hingham, Mass., community can take advantage of high-speed Wi-Fi, on-site tech support, and access to My Erickson, a digital app that provides access to all kinds of information about life on campus, including maps and phone numbers, messages, dining menus, activity calendars, transit schedules, local directories, and staff information.

Technology in action

“Age is irrelevant when it comes to each person’s digital journey,” says Erickson Living Chief Information Officer Hans Keller. “More than ever, seniors are online and incorporating the internet and online activities into their everyday lives. Our goal at Erickson Living is to meet residents where they are in their technology adoption and, for those interested, offer opportunities to increase their digital skills as they enjoy an engaging lifestyle. 

“By providing state-of-the-art technologies and on-site support services, our campuses are an ideal setting for residents to utilize an array of digital devices that help keep them connected with family and friends, as well as for other daily activities, such as getting news, accessing social media sites, and making purchases,” Keller adds.

Don Mitchell is one of the many tech-savvy retirees living at Linden Ponds. He worked as a television news photographer for WCVB-TV and has owned computers for over 30 years. Don is a loyal Apple customer. In addition to his iMac, he also uses an iPhone and an iPad. 

Whether he’s browsing the internet, getting driving directions, or processing photos, Don says technology is a part of his daily life. He also finds it useful when he and his wife Joan are away from home.

“We travel a lot, and we’re able to book transportation and hotels online,” he says. “We can find restaurants, including menus, use the GPS to get us there, and see pictures of the area before we leave.”

Neighbors helping neighbors

Now that he lives at Linden Ponds, Don helps his neighbors become more tech savvy by offering assistance when Liz Patton, the community’s TV and AV manager, offers iPad workshops for residents.

Patton says the recent launch of the My Erickson app has helped many community members jump into the digital world. While some are reluctant at first to try out new technology, Patton and her colleague Tom McGivern are able to support them through the process. Patton says any anxiety or frustration people may have felt initially quickly turns to joy once they learn how to use the My Erickson app to make their daily lives easier. 

“It’s so amazing to walk around the campus and see residents everywhere using their smartphones to talk to friends and relatives,” Patton says. “And now they are accessing accounts, checking menus and meal balances, and keeping up with campus news and events. They feel more connected.”