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Housing Expert, HomeAdvisor
Though technology has improved since the iconic “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” commercials in the ‘90s, the problem remains: The elderly want to stay in their homes as they age, but are reluctant to use technologies designed to make them more independent. Marianne Cusato, housing expert at online homeowner resource HomeAdvisor, spoke with eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about baby boomers’ hesitation to adopt smart-home technology and health monitors—and the stigma that still exists around devices that can help them age in place.
eMarketer: Baby boomers want to age in place, and now there are smart-home technologies and health-related wearables that can help them do so. Are boomers reluctant to adopt this technology?
Marianne Cusato: Yes and no. It’s important to recognize the existing digital divide. People who are in their late 70s or early 80s now did not grow up with technology and didn’t use it in their professional lives. The idea of a fully connected home is not going to become a reality for someone like that. Somebody who is 60 right now and has worked with technology, however, is in a different situation. In the latter case, there’s some reluctance, but there’s also an embracing.
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