Technology is ever-changing and our seniors have witnessed the evolution of the different types of technology that most of us use in our everyday lives today. Some of our seniors may not be able to understand how to use smartphones or even the internet but a lot of them actually do. According to a Pew Research Center study, in the year 2014, “59% of American seniors, those aged 65 and older, reported being internet users”. When it comes to the benefits of certain technology, our elderly loved ones definitely have a lot to gain by using different devices available. Below we have outlined a few ways technology can really benefit our seniors with their safety, social lives, and exercising.
Safety might be one of the biggest benefits of technology for our seniors. For starters, having a cellphone, even one that is not a smartphone can be helpful in the event of an emergency. If our seniors do not have a smartphone then having a personal emergency response system allows our seniors to get the help they need if there is ever an emergency. At the click of a button they can be connected with a responder who can find out their situation and get them help almost instantly. In addition to emergency response systems, there are more in-depth services that involve technology such as Welcome Home Health. These patients are monitored post-discharge through full recovery using a video-enabled tablet or smartphone that connects them to certified Health Advocates. They have 24/7 access to Health Advocates for assistance when it comes to identifying issues and implementing effective solutions to get them to recovery. Technology here allows patients to speak with professionals without having to leave to the house.
Another element of safety refers to having devices that provide reminders to our seniors. Having a smartphone or wearable technology such as a Fitbit or an Apple Watch can give our seniors reminders about taking medications on time, attending important appointments, or even simple things like drinking water.
Technology can be helpful both physically and mentally. Physically, again devices like a Fitbit can help our seniors keep track of their health. They can log in what they are eating and how much water they are drinking per day which can ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. In addition, it can be a motivator to get our seniors to get up and stretch and move around which is definitely something all of our elderly ones should be doing daily.
Mentally, technology can challenge our seniors. First, it can challenge them to learn to use the technology around them. Once that is accomplished, applications on a device like an iPad can provide brain stimulating games or allow our seniors to read the news and stay up-to-date on current events.
As we age, our social life can sometimes feel like it is dwindling. Maybe we don’t stay in touch with old friends because it becomes too difficult. Maybe our relatives live in a different state or even country. Utilizing technology is a great way for our seniors to feel closer to family and friends. For example, using an iPad or a smartphone for video calling or maybe using social media to get in touch with an old friend. Technology can allow our elderly loved ones to feel less alone.
Smith, Aaron. “Older Adults and Technology Use.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, 3 Apr. 2014, www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/.
“5 Benefits of Technology to Share with Seniors and Their Caregivers.” Caregiver Stress, www.caregiverstress.com/geriatric-professional-resources/5-benefits-of-technology-to-share-with-seniors-and-their-caregivers/.