As a member of the “older population”, seniors have seen a lot of changes in technology over the decades. While some seniors are hesitant to embrace newer technology, feeling they may be “too old” to learn new things, others stay on top of technology and are excited to learn. Whatever your stance on technology, it can be beneficial to seniors of all ages and abilities.
Whether you’re a senior, a caregiver or loved one of a senior, here are some reasons to consider incorporating and embracing technology on a daily basis:
According to 2014 Pew Research Center data, approximately 77% of seniors over the age of 65 owned a cellphone, but 2015 Pew Research Center data reveals that only 27% of seniors own a smartphone. While a mobile device, like a cellphone, is a “must have” for seniors, a smartphone can be a quick and easy to use resource if a senior has had a slip and fall accident or a medical emergency while running errands.
With a smartphone, it may be easier for a helping stranger or medical professional to access important information in an emergency information. Although most smartphones are filled with screens of apps, many smartphones can be changed to an “Easy Mode” or “Simple” feature, which makes the phone quick and easy to use. Typically, the easy mode will display larger and easy to read icons such as, Contacts, Medication, and Emergency.
Not only can a smartphone be a lifesaver in an emergency situation, but there are numerous apps that benefits seniors from helping them remember to take meds to keeping their brain sharp and playing word games with online friends.
While safety devices worn around the neck, like Life Alert, have saved many lives in a medical emergency, a smart watch may be a good substitute for seniors on the go. While there are a variety of smart watches to choose from, the Lively smart watch is a medication reminder, a fitness tracker, has activity sensors for home use, and may be paired with a cellphone for outside of the home.
Not only are more seniors becoming tech savvy these days, but more are staying physically active, too. In an age where more people are interested on how they sleep, exercise, and eat, a wearable fitness tracker is a great device for seniors living alone or even in a nursing home. Devices, such as Fitbit, keep track of the number of steps taken, the quality of sleep someone had during the night, and the heart rate throughout the day. Since this wearable device is used with a wi-fi connection, the important data can be shared with nursing home staff or even with a doctor at an appointment.
Although new technology can be overwhelming for new users, it’s important to know how it works so it can be used effectively on a daily basis. If you are a senior, don’t be afraid to ask for help or take a class on how to get the most from your latest tech gadget.