Ways Technology Can Improve the Lives of Seniors
In the past, older adults have shied away from technology but with the advances and convenience, they are becoming more accepting and using it more than ever before. According to a study published by the Wallstreet Journal, the number of adults over 65 who use smartphones has more than doubled since 2013, and the trend is expected to continue. PEW Research Center’s discovered, “nearly 47% of baby boomers actively maintained a profile on the social web in 2016, up 15% from 2008, and so do 36% of people between the ages of 63 and 75. That same report found that social networking has almost doubled for people ages 50 and older, growing from 22% to 42% over the past year.”
It is very evident that seniors have jumped on the bandwagon embracing and utilizing technology along with reaping the many benefits.
Here are a few ways technology can improve the lives of today’s older adults:
Video chatting, e-mail, and social media help keep seniors in touch with their family and friends.
As a matter of fact, social connectedness has even been linked to health and well-being. The health risks for those who remain socially disconnected have even been compared to the dangers associated with tobacco smoking and obesity. Older adults who lack social connections or report frequently feeling lonely also tend to suffer from higher rates of illness, infection, depression and cognitive decline.
Seniors can get help with the push of a button.
Surveys show that the majority, 80 to 90 percent, of seniors want to stay in their own home as they age. Technology helps make this possible in a safer manner. Any senior that lives alone or spends the day/night alone should have some sort of Medical Alert System.
Personal Emergency Response (PERS) pendants and Medical Alert Systems allow the wearer to call for help with the simple push of a button. Both seniors and their families can have peace of mind knowing that this technology can call for help in any emergency situation.
Mental and Physical Exercise
E-readers, games, apps, and video game systems get senior’s bodies and minds moving.
Many assisted living communities have already recognized the recreational and exercise benefits that Nintendo’s Wii sports games offer for elderly adults. Seniors living at home could also benefit by owning a Wii or other video game system controlled by motion. The games offer a fun opportunity for seniors to engage in light physical activity from the comfort of their own living room.
For mental exercise, seniors could try games such as Tetris (spatial recognition), Trivial Pursuit (fact recall), or Mahjong (memory and matching). Encourage seniors to practice on their own and then challenge their grand kids. E-readers are a great way to keep up with news and the cognitive skills sharpened.
These are just a few of the ways that technology can improve the lives of seniors. With rapidly evolving technology this list will continue to expand and help improve the lives of older adults.