Technology and senior citizens might not seem like the perfect marriage. While they might struggle to use a smartphone or understand a TV remote, technology can provide a lot of benefits for the elderly. This article will explore some of those benefits in more detail.
Older adults can benefit from the ability to stay in touch with friends and family through technology. Many apps provide a simple video messaging service, allowing them to keep in touch without needing to spend money on calls to international numbers. This can be an important way of staying connected without feeling isolated from your loved ones.
Health and Wellbeing
Technology can be a huge benefit for those with health challenges. Many apps and products are designed to provide specific help such as medication reminders, which can lead to improved compliance with doctors’ orders.
Technology is also being applied medically in other ways. Sensors are being developed that monitor sleep patterns, which can be used to identify sleep disorders.
Many older people still want to remain independent, and technology can provide an effective way of helping them. Apps can help you plan your trip using public transportation, including timetables for bus routes or the availability of taxis in your area.
These apps are also available as phone apps, which means you don’t need a separate device such as a GPS navigation system.
Many older adults wear hearing aids, but getting good reception can be a problem. Technology is helping to solve this issue.
Newer hearing aids have an inbuilt FM receiver, which connects automatically to the FM signals sent out by radio stations when they are not being used for their usual broadcasts. This means that you’ll get crystal clear reception without needing additional equipment.
Technology can be used to help improve vision for older adults, often making their lives a lot easier. For example, phones are often equipped with text-to-speech software that pronounces text messages aloud. This can be really useful when driving or when your hands need to be free for other tasks.
An alternative is talking keyboards, which let you type words using voice commands. Many public places have started installing these keyboards so that visitors can use their phones easily and hands-free. There are also apps that make it easier to read text, such as Magnifier or Zoom Text, which allows you to zoom in on items in your phone’s display.
Technology can help to improve safety in the home. For example, devices such as fall detectors can detect if someone has fallen and then alert a caregiver or emergency service. The elderly can also benefit from door openers that let them get in and out of the house safely.
Technology also provides more traditional safety features, including home security systems that make it easy to gain entry into your home when carrying groceries. There are also more sophisticated products available, such as wireless doorbell cameras, which record anyone coming to the house.
The benefits of technology can also cover exercise, with many apps and programs being designed to help you in this regard.
Exercise apps can make it easier to track your daily activities, while virtual reality games using a headset have been designed specifically for older people. This technology makes exercise more interesting and helps to prevent feelings of isolation
Medication management can be improved through technology. Medication reminder apps are designed specifically to help people take their medications on time and record what they’ve been taking.
This helps to prevent issues such as mistaking one medication for another or missing a dose altogether. This can even be helpful in assisted living areas like Belmont Village, where staff keep track of hundreds of people’s medication.
There are many devices available to help track health, such as Fitbit or blood pressure monitors. These can allow you to track your own health and record information that can be shared with doctors.
Despite these new advancements, the sound of a familiar voice can sometimes provide more comfort than any other method. Thankfully, telecare makes it possible to arrange for someone to check in on you, via a two-way video call. This means that you can receive regular calls from family and friends who live far away.
Although this may not sound high-tech, it provides reassurance and helps to reduce feelings of loneliness that are common among older people who live alone.
Technology can also help to make life more entertaining. For example, many retirement homes have internet-enabled TVs that have been specifically designed for older people.
Some of these TVs come with large on-screen buttons and adjustable volume controls, making it easier for you to control the TV without having to turn up the volume too much or needing a lot of extra effort with the remote.
Many of these TVs also have built-in Skype or Facetime for video calls, allowing you to call your family and friends whenever you want. This technology might not be as high-tech as virtual reality headsets, but it still makes life more interesting and entertaining.
Technology can also help to provide information. For example, many retirement homes have web-enabled TVs that allow you to easily connect to your favorite websites and browse the internet.
This helps to keep you up-to-date with news and events, even if you live in an assisted living area where you don’t get outside much. Many libraries also provide a range of free computer classes and training, which makes it easy to learn about topics that interest you.
Access to Food
Technology can also make food more accessible. Many local restaurants and supermarkets have apps that make it easier to order groceries and food. This not only allows you to order your favorite meals or snacks but also makes it easier for the store to deliver your order directly to your front door.
For older people that aren’t mobile, this can make life much easier. Some elderly people might not be able to leave the house, so this type of technology is truly beneficial.