These days there is no shortage of technology designed for the older generation. From robot companions to hearing aides that use GPS data to adjust volume according to the location of the wearer. There are also alert systems that can be installed in the home for medical emergencies. We all live in a world that is better connected than ever before.
The digital age that we live in can be, and has been, very intimidating for our seniors. Across the country, older adults that grew up in a pre-digital age, are finding more help to navigate the wired and wireless world. Senior centers, retirement communities and advocacy groups like AARP are offering more free technology courses for our senior community.
Laptops and Tablets
Many older people have adopted the use of laptops and tablets over the last several years. Tablets are particularly popular with adults over the age of 75 because they are generally more simple to use. They are using online banking for the convenience. Social media applications like Facebook have enabled seniors to stay in touch with friends and relatives. Video chat applications like Skype, give them the opportunity to have face to face conversations with grandchildren. They can view photos, read books, listen to music and learn languages. Games can provide exercise for the mind and the body.
Smartphones have been the most difficult technology device to use for our elderly population. In large part to the smaller screens which make them more difficult to see and navigate. Four out of ten seniors now own smartphones, more than double the share that did so in 2013. Smartphones can offer critical benefits like helping seniors stay connected to friends and family. They also provide GPS locations and medication management app’s.
Software and Technology App’s
Developers are continuously making technology easier for the elderly. The following are some helpful tools to make their everyday life better:
- Park “n” Forget – Parking lots can be confusing, for young or old. Park “n” Forget helps you remember where you parked your car and even monitors the amount of time in a metered spot.
- Lumosity – The aging process often affects memory. Keep your mind sharp with this clever memory-improvement app that contains hundreds of games and puzzles. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity is proven to benefit memory recall and information retention.
- Skype – Making international and long-distance calls adds up, costing you hundreds of dollars to stay in touch with your family. Skype users are able to make long-distance calls, send instant message, and enjoy video conferencing for a fraction of the price. Call or video chat to mobile phones and landlines for a small fee. You can even video chat over wireless Internet free of charge. Save money and connect with family members all over the world using this popular video communication app.
- The Weather Channel – Never let weather surprise you again. Get constant updates on the day’s weather and what to expect in the forecast. Mobile alerts let you know if your forecast predicts severe weather, giving you ample time to get indoors before an approaching storm.
- WebMD – WebMD offers physician-reviewed health content and constantly updated information about maintaining a nutritious lifestyle. The “Healthy Target” section lets you establish goals for your eating and exercise habits and then gives actionable insights at the end of each week. Enter your symptoms and find possible causes on the app, as well as common treatments for the diagnoses. While WebMD cannot take the place of your general practice physician, the app is a great resource for sustaining a healthy diet and routine.
- Pillboxie – The Pillboxie app reminds you to take medications at the scheduled times you set. Customize your medications by color and drag them into the sectioned pillbox graphic to easily organize your prescription schedule. This useful app ensures you will never again forget to take your daily medications.
- Goodreads – Discover and share your favorite books on the Goodreads app. Recommended by 20 million members, this app allows users to rate their recently read books and give brief explanations of their choices. View other users’ reading history to see how often they read and their typical genre to find out if you share mutual interests. With Goodreads, you do not have to purchase a book based solely on its cover.
- Text Zoom – Text Zoom permits operators with less than perfect eyesight to zoom in, set higher contrast, and display larger buttons for easier use. The app simplifies phones that are difficult for older users to navigate.
- Voice Reading – This app reads text aloud from the Internet, emails, messages, and even text files. Choose from a variety of language and accent settings to better understand the app’s “voice.” Seniors that have trouble viewing small text on phone screens or want to check messages while driving will find the Voice Reading app particularly helpful.
- NPR – Get worldwide news and listen to your favorite NPR programs on the go. Users can search the NPR archives to listen to interviews from previous years. The NPR app gives older adults their world news and relevant stories in a concise and easy-to-use app.
- Netflix – Stream hundreds of television shows, movies, and documentaries on the Netflix app. A subscription starts at only $8.99 a month and includes unlimited streaming. Seniors will find this app useful during workouts or when traveling to provide hours of entertainment.
- Easy Facebook for Seniors – An app designed with an older generation in mind, Easy Facebook for Seniors is a cleaner, less-cluttered version of the classic Facebook app. Older adults are able to browse effortlessly through the app without investing long hours to learn how to navigate the interface. Keep in touch with friends and family members with the Easy Facebook for Seniors app.
- Words With Friends – Words With Friends is a wonderful scrabble game family members and friends can all play. This easy to navigate app will not only keep you intouch, but can keep those spelling and wordsmithing skills sharp.
So reach out today and help your senior loved ones feel more comfortable in the digital world. Sign them up for a local workshop or training online. Provide hands-on help whenever you can. Helping our elderly community feel at home in this technology rich environment can enrich their lives and make them feel less alone!
Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah, St. George, Cedar City would like to assist you or your loved one with staying connected in a digital society. Please contact us today for more information on how we can help with technology, as well as providing companionship services. You’re in Caring Hands With Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah.