5 Reasons Why It’s Important For Senior Citizens To Keep Up With Technology

Senior-Citizens-with-tech

It’s hard to imagine a time before the Internet unless you happen to be speaking to your grandparents or those from an older generation. Everyone knows someone who struggles with technology and especially for older adults, they have less reason to keep up with the latest changes because they are no longer in the workforce. However, it’s actually just as important for seniors to keep up with technology because it makes their lives easier.

For example, seniors with limited mobility are unable to run errands all the time like they used to, so online banking or ordering groceries can now be done from the comfort of their home. Below are five reasons why senior citizens should make sure they keep up with technology.

Staying connected

Never has the way we stay connected with our family and friends changed so dramatically as it has in the year 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has left lots of elderly people feeling isolated because they cannot see their grandchildren and loved ones. Fortunately, technology has made it possible for families to stay in touch with their senior relatives through video calls. While this doesn’t replace face-to-face interaction, it’s certainly helped a lot of people feel less alone.

While not everyone is a fan of social media, some older adults have jumped on the Facebook or Instagram bandwagon as another way to keep in touch. It’s also a great way to find old friends that they may not have spoken to for many years. For seniors who have always played an active part in the community, they can find online groups with like-minded people. Studies have also shown that adults who remain socially active tend to live longer and have better emotional wellbeing.

Some seniors find that smartphone screens are too small and make it difficult to type, so a tablet might be an easier option for them with larger font size.

Remaining independent

One of the most challenging things about getting old is realising you’re no longer as fit and able as you once were. Tasks take longer to do and your bones start aching. Many older adults would prefer to continue living at home rather than going to a retirement home or aged care facility, but this can be challenging for families who are concerned for their senior relative’s wellbeing.

There are now plenty of smart devices that are designed for seniors available on the market that are allowing seniors to stay independent and continue living at home, while providing peace of mind to their families.

Devices such as smart speakers come with voice-activated virtual assistants that seniors can program to perform basic tasks around the house including:

–           Turning lights on or off

–           Turning music volume up or down

–           Searching for information online

–           Raising blinds up or down

There are plenty more things that can be done with smart speakers, such as connecting your speaker with your tv or phone apps.

Other devices that are useful for seniors include robot vacuums that can save older adults from having to clean their carpets.

Staying safe

As we get older, we’re not as agile and strong as we used to be which is why seniors who live alone should have the right technology to help them in case of an emergency, as it could potentially save their life. Falls are the most common injury in people aged 65 years and over in the United States and one in every five falls causes a serious injury such as a head injury or fractured hip.

Medical smartwatches that detect falls can give a senior person peace of mind knowing that they can get help quickly if they fall over and are unable to reach their mobile phone. Smartwatches are much less clunky than traditional medical alert systems, making them more discreet while also looking stylish. There are companies that provide a 24-hour response service, so the person knows that if they fall they will able to speak to a staff member. The staff member will then assess the situation and decide whether to call a caregiver, family member, or emergency services.

There are also smart sensors that can be placed around the home that monitor a person’s daily routine. If something unusual happens, such as the senior doesn’t get out of bed that morning, they can send an alert to a carer or family member.

Staying physically active

Physical exercise is important to stave off medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Even a 30-minute walk gives your brain the oxygen boost it needs. Unfortunately, some elderly people have limited mobility or are recovering from surgery so they will need to take small steps to build up to a longer exercise routine.

There are lots of YouTube videos and tutorials online that seniors can use to do exercise indoors if they feel unsure about going outdoors. Smartwatches can be set to remind an older adult if they have been sitting down for too long and even doing some gardening is a great way to stay fit.

Staying mentally active

Staying physically active is important but so is doing mental exercises. We know it’s important to regularly work out, but our brain also needs to workout otherwise it’ll cease to function. There are lots of activities that people can do online to keep their brain activities such as playing chess or learning a new skill.

Nowadays you don’t have to leave your house to find a tutor. There are lots of websites where you can find someone who can teach you a new language or join an online club to learn a new skill such as sewing or cooking.

Keeping the brain active can prevent memory loss and it gives a person something to do with their day. Lots of older adults like piecing together their family history and this is another activity that can be done using the Internet as a tool for research.

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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.

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