Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last sixty years or so, and older adults have witnessed it all. From massive showpieces like the moon landing to the extraordinary progress made in the medical field and the rise of the internet.
Older people are also the first to witness the changes technology can bring to the later years of life. These five technological advances can make massive differences to the lives of seniors.
They can lead to a beneficial increase in:
1. Connectivity – Social Media and Video Calling Allow Seniors to Stay in Touch with Distant Friends and Family
According to the recent studies, staying connected with friends and family is just as important to healthy aging as genetics and physical aspects.
Nothing can replace real human interactions. However, video services such as skype, or text media such as emails or social media can supplement daily contact and occasionally replace it if a loved one is unavailable at the time. Local community centers provide how-to classes to teach older people how to make the most of the internet. Or a tech-savvy younger relative can always help them get online.
2. Safety – Help Is Only Ever as Far as the Push of a Button
Surveys show that the majority of older people want to remain in their own homes as late into their life as possible. There are numerous tech solutions that can greatly increase their safety if they live alone. A Personal Emergency Response System allows the wearer to alert a contact in the event of an emergency by simply pushing a button. Both the families and the seniors themselves will benefit from the increased peace of mind this brings.
For sufferers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, there are a number of systems available that can improve their safety. By checking their location with GPS and keeping caregivers informed, you can ensure that older people are less likely to wander into dangerous situations.
3. Exercise – Games Can Benefit Both Mind and Body
Many homes and senior communities are already making use of the benefits Nintendo Wii games can offer for the elderly. Likewise, older people living at home can improve their mental and physical health with a gaming system that utilizes motion. The games offer a degree of physical activity, enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.
Games such as Tetris can help improve spatial recognition. Trivial Pursuit aids information recall, while Mahjong is good for matching and memory. Take things to the next level by encouraging seniors to challenge their youngers.
4. Management of Medication – Apps Can Reduce Medication Errors
It’s not always easy for seniors to keep track of medication. Unsurprising, given that many older adults take a variety of regular prescriptions, with some taking up to twenty pills a day.
Pill boxes are useful, but smart tech can provide reminders and alerts that can keep things organized. Personal Caregiver and RxmindMe are both good options for keeping track of medication and help prevent missed doses and errors.
5. Health Tracking – There Are Many Options That Can Help Maintain and Access Health Information
Apps and online systems can help both seniors and their family or caregivers keep medical information, schedules, and contacts in one easy to use place.