In this day and age, keeping up with the advancement in technology can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially for your senior loved ones. Although there’s a bit of a learning curve, familiarizing these gadgets and apps can help make their lives easier.
Technology for seniors isn’t just about flashy new devices; it’s a bridge to a world of safety, convenience, health and connection.
In this article, we will explore the multifaceted benefits of technology for seniors, and how it can be used to help them lead more fulfilling lives.
4 Benefits of using technology for seniors
1. It helps in daily life.
Technology help for seniors extends into everyday activities. Smartphones and tablets with voice-activated assistants can simplify tasks like:
- Making phone calls
- Sending messages
- Setting reminders
To reduce the need for physical errands, they can do these tasks through their phones:
- Online banking
- Bill pay services
- Grocery delivery
Lastly, smart home devices allow your senior loved ones to control these things at home without moving an inch:
- Door lock
These conveniences can make routine tasks less of a burden and improve the quality of life for your senior loved ones.
2. It makes your senior loved ones more safe.
Helping seniors with technology also means increasing their safety. Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) can detect falls and alert medical services. GPS trackers in shoes or watches can help family members locate a wandering senior with dementia. Video doorbells and security cameras add a layer of protection against potential intruders, which can give you and your family members peace of mind.
3. It provides education and entertainment.
From e-readers that store thousands of books in large print to online courses tailored for senior learning, technology opens up new avenues for education and entertainment. Streaming services provide on-demand access to movies, shows and music that cater to varied tastes and preferences. Video games designed for seniors not only entertain but also improve cognitive function and hand-eye coordination.
4. It boosts productivity.
Productivity isn’t reserved for the young. Seniors can use technology to:
- Manage medication schedules
- Track expenses
- Run a small business
Tools like calendar apps, financial management software and online marketplaces can help your senior loved ones stay organized and productive, proving that retirement need not be the end of their productive years.
How can seniors access technology?
Access to technology for seniors can be as simple as a trip to the local library or community center, many of which offer free computer and internet access, as well as classes geared toward senior learners.
There are also nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing affordable or even free technology help for seniors, including training and support.
Lastly, if you have family members who can dedicate the time to teach and set up services, this would be helpful for your senior loved ones.
10 Ways that technology can help seniors meet their needs
1. It helps them keep in touch with their loved ones.
Perhaps one of the most profound benefits of technology for seniors is the ability to stay connected with family and friends, regardless of distance. Video calling platforms like Zoom or Skype can bridge thousands of miles. Social media allows seniors to keep up with the lives of their loved ones and even reconnect with old friends.
2. It allows them to shop for food and supplies.
Online shopping has become a boon for seniors, especially for those with mobility issues. Within a few clicks or taps, your loved ones can order these things and more:
- Household essentials
- Delivery services
3. It allows your senior loved ones to stay active.
There’s an app for everything – including senior fitness. Apps that offer low-impact workout routines or yoga for seniors encourage physical activity, which is crucial for maintaining health.
For those who are more health-conscious, they can also do these things:
- Track steps
- Monitor sleep patterns
- Enable reminders to stay active throughout the day
4. It helps in monitoring their health.
Remote health monitoring technology can keep a watchful eye on your senior loved one’s health. By syncing the data directly with smartphones, both seniors and caregivers can track vital health metrics, which include:
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
- Resting heart rate
5. Medical alert systems can improve their safety.
Medical alert systems are an essential piece of technology for seniors living independently. These devices can be worn as pendants or bracelets and are designed to call for help at the touch of a button. Some are even equipped with automatic fall detection.
6. It stimulates the mind.
Games that challenge the mind can help keep it sharp. Technology provides access to a range of brain-training games and puzzles.
If playing games is a step too far for your senior loved ones, learning to use the technology itself can be a mental exercise as it engages the brain in new and challenging ways.
7. It encourages exercise.
Virtual reality (VR) isn’t just for the young. Seniors can use VR to do the following:
- Simulate walks in nature
- Take virtual bike rides
- Participate in low-impact aerobic classes
With these technologies, exercising can easily become an enjoyable and regular part of your senior loved one’s routine.
8. It helps with navigation and travel.
For seniors who still love to travel and explore, GPS technology can help them navigate new places with ease. Ride-sharing apps also offer a safe and convenient alternative to driving, which gives seniors the freedom to go where they want without the stress of driving and parking.
9. Home access control can make their homes more safe.
Smart locks and garage doors enhance security and convenience. These technologies allow seniors to grant access to visitors or caregivers through their smartphones. No more fumbling for keys or worrying about whether the door was left unlocked.
10. It improves financial protection.
Seniors are more vulnerable when it comes to online fraud. Technology can help your loved ones safeguard their finances through alerts on suspicious activities and easy-to-use tools for managing accounts without the need to handle cash or visit the bank.
Technology for seniors isn’t just about keeping up with the times, it’s about integrating tools that can improve quality of life, enhance safety and maintain connections.
The key to successfully helping seniors with technology lies in patient education and ongoing support. Whether it’s through a video call with a grandchild, a virtual doctor’s appointment, or a reminder to take medication, technology can be a lifeline, a teacher and a friend, all rolled into one.