The boom of technology has dramatically changed our society in the past 50 years. Technological development has happened in a shorter time than a human lifetime. Most senior citizens today are witnesses to this huge leap. They grew up without ipads and smartphones. Yet at this very moment, incredibly, they are video calling their children from their living rooms.
According to the Pew research group, 59% of seniors report they go online. However, there is still a big group of seniors who are still largely unattached from online and mobile life. The reasons vary from senior to senior. Let’s examine a few ways how technology can improve senior’s lives and help them start to benefit from all the technological opportunities.
Staying on track with medications
In later age, health and personal wellbeing may become the primary focus in our life. Illnesses may start to arise. Medical visits may become more frequent and as a result, more medications are prescribed. The elderly may have a hard time keeping track of the medicine they need to take. If they are still independent, one great way to help them to remember to take their medicine is by using a medication tracker.
There are a myriad of choices. This Home over 55 article states that 39% of people aged 65+ take 5 medications or more every day. In this article, you can find five trusted apps for medication adherence you and your elderly loved one may find useful.
Beating isolation and loneliness
Loneliness is widespread in the senior citizen community. But there are solutions. In this AARP survey, over one-third of elderly respondents reported being lonely. Notably, half of them state that the Internet makes it easier to share their lives with others and helps them fight social isolation and loneliness.
There are different ways how seniors can share their lives with their family or friends online. Some are more complex and suitable for advanced users but even the technologically challenged users can find their way to connect in the online world.
A good example it the #1 downloadable application Oscar Senior that was created specifilly with the elderly in mind to allow them to connect with their loved ones no matter where they are. This application transforms your senior’s tablet into an easy-to-use device that will allow to videocall with a touch of a button. Beside the video calls, it has many other features such as sharing pictures or browsing online that will make the experiene even more enjoyable.
Filling time with meaningful activities
Retirement can and should be a positive experience. Seniors have time to discover and learn something new. The Internet is an amazing all-encompassing resource for learning, entertainment, and information that can improve seniors’ lives.
Learning to play songs with online tabs
Perhaps your elderly parent had learned to play the guitar as a child but never had any time to play as an adult. Now they can relearn songs and practice from a website. Songsterr is a website with guitar, bass and drum tabs and chords with an online player which plays the song as you play it on your instrument.
Getting fit and active with a tracker
For many seniors, staying active is challenging. Physical ailments, a lack of motivation, and loneliness can all contribute to seniors avoiding exercise. What could give them the push they need? Fitbit, a fitness tracker to wear on the wrist, helps encourage seniors to get moving with its fun tracker. It also monitors their health condition (heart rate, quality of sleep). The app has a community page where seniors can connect to their friends which is motivating them further to get active.
Connecting with others online
Facebook is the number one social platform of today since its launch in 2004. It is hard not to find someone you know. Have your elderly relatives join in so they can connect to you. They can instantly see pics of their grandkids. They will possibly find old friends and schoolmates they can catch up with. Maintaining friendships online is a powerful solution for the elderly who are lonely and have a hard time leaving their homes.
Shopping from the comfort of home
You must be familiar with Amazon, but does your senior know about the vast assortment of products they can buy with just a few clicks? Books, home and personal care products, toys for grandkids, even food. Just make sure you talk them through the payment process before they click “Buy”. And the elderly in advanced age may need regular help with online payments to avoid any risks.
Finding information on medicine
WebMD has a huge database on drugs and medications. Seniors may find it useful to learn more about a certain medicine they are taking. The FDA also has a page on Medication Guides which are continually updated as new drug labels appear. You can even subscribe to email alerts when the updates occur. The Drug Safety communication page can also be interesting as it provides us with drug safety information.
Discovering new recipes
For the culinarian of the family, a website with delicious recipes may be a great source of inspiration. BBC Good Food, Genius Kitchen, and AllRecipes are just some of the wonderful sites dedicated to cooking that we recommend. They include text recipes with pictures, videos, finding recipes based on ingredients, recipes based on diet type, and much more.
Exploring home improvement tips
For the handy seniors, discovering home hacks and brushing up on some home improvement skills instead of calling a pro will give them something useful to do. Good Housekeeping, a popular magazine now online, shares some great home ideas. Home Hacks is a website with clever tips and tricks from cleaning to woodworking.
Checking the weather
For seniors who are planning a trip ahead or who just like to follow weather conditions, AccuWeather or The Weather Network are websites they can consult. These sites also have downloadable apps for tablets or smartphones.
In this article we’ve explored how technology can greatly improve the lives of our senior generation. The choices are endless. Have a talk with your elderly parent. Get to know what their insterests are and how they could enrich their life in old age. Just an Internet connection can get them talking with old friends from school or fill their day with new hobbies and activites. Our senior citizens should not be forgotten. Let’s include them in the joys that technology offers all of us.
Download a senior-friendly app and provide an easy Internet access for your senior.