Seniors are amongst the fastest growing segment of online users. An increasing number of people in the 60+ age category have begun using the likes of Facebook, Google and YouTube. Many maintain their own blog sites and are familiar with emailing and texting.
This is because of key innovations which have made it possible for this to happen. Access to the internet has become a lifeline to those who want to stay connected with friends and call for help if need be. Let’s look at some of the good stuff:
According to Pew data, over 78% of those over 65 years of age have cell phones although only 30% use Smartphones. This is partly because cell phone technology is easier to use and cheaper than many smartphones. Many seniors find it hard to part with something that is still fully functional and the danger is technology runs ahead of them. Another issue with smartphones is they require a certain level of dexterity that some seniors find hard.
It’s a shame smartphones are essentially highly mobile computers. In fact smartphones are fantastic health tools and can be used to keep track of heart rate and blood pressure and have medication reminders delivered. Even brain-enhancement games can be used.
E-readers and Tablets
These can allow anyone to engage in video-conferencing with the family, share photos as well as do Internet research. eReaders and tablets and portable and increasingly lighter in weight. Anyone with arthritis in the hands knows the struggle of holding a fat heavy book for too long. eReaders are a fantastic resource for storing books, magazines and articles. Plus they have the added benefit of adjustable light sources, which can even provide a useful glow when dark.
Alzheimer’s is an increasing issue and even early stage Alzheimer’s can result in memory loss and orientation. GPS (Global Positioning Systems) – whether as standalone units or part of a Smartphone – makes it easier to find our way around places and could act as a reminder if needed. And, if you’ve retired to a new city or moved into a new neighborhood, it’s just a great tool for getting your bearings.
Skype (Face time)
This is yet another great technology app which has made communication very easy for seniors in their communication with those who are far away from them. The need to travel to the doctor for every single issue is increasingly being eliminated as it’s possible in many places to contact them from home, discuss your progress and get immediate feedback.
If there is the need to monitor activity levels and sleep patterns a range of devices are available to help. Many people first become aware of these devices once recommended by their family doctor but it’s just another example of how technology can and does work for seniors in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.