A recently completed study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “The Impact of Broadband on Senior Citizens” looks at how internet technologies are affecting lives of senior citizens and how government should approach policy making to make sure everyone benefits from investment in the broadband market.
The study, first in a series, looks at the availability, awareness & demand, adoption and use of broadband. Then it discusses the roles and impact of broadband on seniors. The last sections talk about the importance of greater broadband availability and best practices to encourage adoption and utilization of broadband technologies.
The Social, Economic and Health related Impacts of Broadband are particularly relevant to aging in place:
- Broadband increases connectivity with family and friends.
- Broadband fosters feelings of relevance and provides seniors with an interactive outlet to the world.
- Enhancing personal communications can decrease feelings of depression and isolation.
- Individual economic gains include: e-commerce; managing personal finances online; savings on prescription drugs; and enhanced employment opportunities.
- Economy-wide gains include increases in: small business creation; seniors in the workforce; senior-oriented contents and applications; and healthcare savings.
Impact on Healthcare and Well-Being
- Broadband is enhancing senior wellness and preventive care.
- Broadband is enabling lifesaving and life enhancing telemedicine services like in-home monitoring.
- The potential for broadband-enabled healthcare services and applications is tremendous.