To remain competitive in the whirlwind of the Digital Age, leading tech experts continue to release state-of-the-art innovations at rapid-fire speed. Despite the pushback of elderly subcommunities who adopt a don’t-fix-what-isn’t-broken mentality and ditch tablets in favor of newspapers, a large majority of senior citizens have embraced these technological innovations with open arms.
Many elderly folks find that the technology within arm’s reach can make formerly time-consuming and mentally-draining tasks a breeze. For instance, with a smartphone in your elderly loved one’s artillery, Grandma or Grandpa can keep track of vital medical information, stay connected with family and friends, shop online, and much more.
Not to mention, after a few simple swipes and taps of a phone screen, your elderly loved ones can access apps specifically designed with seniors in mind. Once downloaded, your elderly will be able to schedule grocery deliveries, set reminders to take medication, and transfer money with ease via online banking services.
Though it can be frustrating at times to try and keep pace with the unrelenting stream of technological advancements characteristic of the 21st century, countless benefits come with integrating technology into your life or the lives of your loved ones.
Curious as to how? With more advanced tech-based knowledge, your elderly grandparents will reap the benefits of greater socialization, increased convenience, and much more. Ready to begin but don’t know where to start? Read on for six suggestions of senior-friendly technology you’ll want to grab for the senior citizen in your life.
A Senior-Friendly Computer
One of the first tech items you should consider is a computer engineered with seniors’ unique needs at heart. Senior-friendly computers like The Wow Computer eradicate many of the hang-ups seniors have when stepping into the cybersphere, including complicated set-ups, small text on the screen, and difficulties navigating the interweb. In this day and age, access to the internet is seemingly essential, so a computer is the first step in successfully integrating technology into seniors’ lives.
A Senior-Friendly Cell Phone
In addition to providing a sense of connectedness and safety, a cell phone could save the life of elderly folks with restricted mobility, should an accident happen at home. There are several considerations to make when picking out a cell phone for a senior, including price, camera quality, speakers, ease of use, and emergency button features.
Also known as smart speakers, these virtual assistants are voice-controlled, eliminating the need for high technical aptitude. After issuing a command, these voice assistants will function at warp speed and tend to daily tasks otherwise neglected by seniors suffering from short-term memory loss. Some examples of voice assistants are Siri (comes with Apple products), Google (Google Home), and Alexa (Amazon). With these assistants, you can ask questions, set alarms, play music, and create shopping lists sent. In seconds, these lists will transfer directly to your phone or tablet.
Seniors can now wear many devices directly on their person, making the technology even more intuitive for the user in question. Not only that, wearables such as the Apple Watch or Fitbit track key health information in real-time, like heart rate and sleep, without any interference from the wearer.
Some of the newer wearables models are ECG-enabled, meaning these devices will notify users of rapid heart rates. Some models can also detect any hard falls and give you the option to call for help should the fall occur when no one is home.
Smart Home Appliances
Though smart home appliances may seem a little too futuristic for some, their primary purpose is to automate basic home functions, so elderly homeowners can “set it and forget it.” These devices are meant to be left alone once installed and are especially helpful for seniors looking to maintain an optimal sense of independence in their homes.
Smart home appliances can help with many household necessities, like controlling your thermostat, turning lights on and off, setting home security alarms, running sprinklers, and more. It’s just a matter of purchasing a smart device and downloading an app to your phone or tablet.
Tablets are an unbeatable middle ground between a cell phone and a computer. For seniors, especially those who are keyboard-adverse, tablets are the perfect solution for those elderly folks hoping to lead tech-friendly lifestyles. These devices have virtually all the same functionality as a computer but are handheld and touchscreen, making them much more ideal for those who may not want to commit to a desktop. Additionally, seniors can download apps designed with elderly folks in mind onto their tablets to perform a whole host of duties, from video chatting with grandchildren to creating reminders for medication.
Assistive Technology Devices
For seniors aging in place, everyday living spaces can gradually become unconquerable obstacle courses, complete with hazards looming around virtually every corner. As mobility deteriorates, day-to-day tasks like answering the front door or using the toilet can drain elderly folks’ limited energy supply and crush their already fragile sense of confidence.
Fortunately, assistive technology devices can swoop to the rescue and lend a helping hand to the mobility impaired. With the help of devices like Roomba vacuum cameras, senior citizens no longer have to contort into back-aching positions just to achieve a crumb-free floor. Similarly, with a stairlift installed at home, elderly homeowners can ration their limited physical energy and travel from their home’s first floor to the second floor with ease.
Because our bones lose density as we age, slips and falls can have devastating (and potentially life-altering consequences), especially for those elderly homeowners with restricted mobility. That said, investing in a Fall Guard can successfully safeguard the senior citizens in your life from bumps, bruises, and even minor fractures. While homeowners in their 20s and 30s can shrug off the occasional stubbed toe, banged elbow, or scraped knee, aging’s effects prolong recovery times, meaning rolling off the bed can render a senior immobile for months at a time.
You can also defend your elderly loved ones against nasty spills by installing handrails in common areas and shower rails in your bathroom spaces. Should you notice a sharp decline in balance, purchase a power wheelchair and scooter. That way, seniors aging in place won’t have to wobble from room to room, fearful of tumbling over.
Don’t turn a blind eye to your elderly loved ones who are struggling to acclimate to the fast-paced living of the Digital Age. Lend a helping hand by encouraging the seniors in your life to capitalize on the benefits of recent technological advancements.