By Karen Smith
Bio: Karen Smith has been working for MePACS as the Head of Sales and Marketing for the last four years and has over 20 years experience in health, technology, digital and finance industries.
While there are a lot of older adults who use social media or surf the web, there are others who are a little hesitant to embrace modern technology into their lives. This could be due to physical difficulty in using technology, lack of assistance or having the mindset of being “too old”.
However, there are an abundance of tech gadgets on the market that are not only senior friendly but making their lives easier. Seniors who have already adopted technology into their lives are realising what a difference it makes. Below I have outlined five reasons why seniors should keep up with technology.
Technology gives seniors more independence
Many seniors would prefer to age at home rather than live in an aged care facility, but this can cause concern for their families who are worried about their safety due to reduced mobility. There are a number of health gadgets that can monitor and manage the health of seniors such as medication reminders and heart rate trackers. For seniors who are worried about falling and unable to get help, there are fall detection smartwatches that feature call-for-help buttons in the event of an emergency.
There are also smart appliances that can help out around the house including house-cleaning robots and stove top alarms in case of fire while cooking. Technology can allow seniors to continue living an independent life and give them confidence to keep doing the things they enjoy.
Technology creates social connection
It may not always be possible for seniors to see their children or grandchildren face-to-face if they live far away. That’s why technology has made it easier than ever for us to connect with each other. Instant messaging is great for quick conversations, while video calling allows seniors to see their loved ones on their smartphone or tablet. Technology provides a way of bridging the communication gap and to stay in touch no matter where people are.
Technology provides seniors with entertainment
For seniors who can’t get out of the house as much as they used to, technology can bring entertainment to them. Streaming services such as Netflix and Stan give people access to thousands of movies and television shows. For the more musically inclined, there is Spotify or Apple Music that have huge libraries of music in every genre from any era.
There’s an online service to suit everyone’s needs and taste. Older adults may enjoy downloading apps onto their tablet or smartphone that allows them to do crosswords or play games. This is great for brain stimulation and can boost memory and enhance cognitive skills.
Technology keeps seniors physically active
As we get older, physical exercise becomes more limited depending on how active we are throughout our lives. Some seniors would like to stay active but are worried about hurting or injuring themselves while they’re outdoors. If this is the case, then technology can make physical exercise less stressful.
There are many gaming consoles that can keep the body moving without even leaving the living room. Games such as Xbox Kinect and Wii Sports are great for seniors to try out with their grandkids. Once older adults feel confident enough with doing indoor exercise, they can start venturing outdoors for short walks or gardening.
Technology keeps seniors productive
The amount of things you can do on the internet are limitless, so if you have a senior relative who wants to learn a new skill or learn more about something, show them what they can do online. For example, many older adults enjoy finding out about their family history. You can point them in the right direction to show them where they can find out about their past. Libraries and research centers post a lot of information online, which is useful for people looking to find out about their family tree. This can give seniors a sense of purpose and achievement.