How Technology is Helping Seniors Today?


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A tablet (computer) on the desk

Often seniors have been portrayed as individuals who haven’t warmed up to the idea of incorporating technology in their every days lives. Today seniors are using technology to improve their lives, to help with every day tasks, medication reminders or transportation. According to Pew Research Center, “four in ten seniors now own smartphones, more than double the share that did so in 2013.”
With families living far away, seniors can stay in touch with their loved ones through video chats. Being able to stay a part of their grandchildren’s lives, watching their priceless moments brings immense happiness for seniors.
The use of these devices by seniors can help them in various aspects of life.
1. Tablets and iPads
Tablets are much easier to use than laptops or other computers since they are smaller and can be easily held anywhere. Seniors can adjust the size of the font by zooming-in, making it easier for them to read. They can use tablets for reading, video conferencing, staying in touch with family and friends, check e-mails, share photos, watch shows or movies etc.
There are many apps available now-a-days whether it’s for learning or entertainment. Also seniors are able to keep themselves busy. Caregivers can also help seniors download new books or introduce them to other apps which could help in providing brain exercises. With technology changing in the blink of an eye, caregivers can help keep the learning curve small for seniors when it comes to technology.
2. Medication Reminders and Monitoring
Seniors can also use technology for medication reminders so they don’t miss their medications. Medication monitors reminds users when and how to take their medications. The alert is repeated till the medication is taken or the caregiver will be alerted if certain amount of time passes and the medication hasn’t been taken.
Some monitors are combined with medical alert systems in which the senior is alerted first to take his/her medication, then a friend or family member and then the emergency response. Caregivers can also be programmed to receive alert when an individual has missed a dose of his/her medication.
3. Hearing Aids
With the advancement in technology, hearing aids haven’t been left behind. Hearing aids now are nearly invisible or can be even implanted in the ear.
4. GPS
With the rise in the number of people being diagnosed with dementia’s, caregivers can be alerted when an individual is not in his/her comfort zone with the help of GPS technology. There are smartphone GPS apps as well as trackers that can be attached to wrist or clothing of an individual.
A senior living alone should have a PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) device with him/her. With this device, the call for help is just a button press away. Family and caregivers get a peace of mind knowing someone can be there to help in an emergency situation.
5. Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers such as Fitbit and Garmin make it easier to monitor activity levels in senior. After the initial setup, seniors can just wear the device and it will calculate the number of steps an individual took during a certain time period or how many hours did an individual slept.
This can motivate seniors to increase movement throughout the day or make it a fun game challenge with a friend or family member.
6. Ride Sharing Apps
Often a decline in social activity is seen when a person becomes unable to drive or the ability to drive become limited due to many health reasons or vision problems. Fortunately with apps such as Uber and Lyft, seniors do not have to limit their social interactions.
Rides can be arranged remotely using smartphone or tablet. Caregivers can help seniors by creating an account and saving their payment information. This way seniors can just request a ride when they need to.