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3 Big Ways Technology Can Improve Your Senior’s Life

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While it can be difficult to keep up with the rapid way in which technology changes, the use of technology can be incredibly beneficial to the lives of seniors and caregivers.

Technological advancements have the power to improve the daily lives of seniors and can even support aging in place. 

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the many ways technology can be used to benefit the senior in your life. 

What Are 3 Ways Tech Can Enhance Your Elder Loved One’s Life?

Technological advancements can touch various areas of your loved one’s everyday life. It can decrease isolation, increase activity and improve the chances of aging in place. We’ll explore in more depth, how modern technology can positively improve your loved one’s life. 

 

1. Tech Provides Social Connection 

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of technology is its power to help seniors stay connected to their family, friends, and community. 

Many seniors struggle with staying social in everyday life, which has a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing. There are several gadgets that can assist with decreasing isolation and improving a senior’s ability to stay social from the comfort of their own home.

Tablets 

Tablets are one form of mobile technology that can be a great tool that for your loved one to video call relatives and close friends.

Your loved one can also use a tablet to store and revisit old photos, play games, and much more. 

Tablets are typically user-friendly, but there are also models, such as the GrandPad, designed specifically for older adults. Some tablets can allow family members to set reminders for appointments or medications. 

 

Social Media

With the ability to be used on any type of device, social media platforms allow seniors to stay in contact with loved ones and participate in community activities and events.

Social networking can be done via a personal computer, an app, or a smartphone, depending on what your senior loved one is most comfortable with.

 

Video Chatting:

Also, a tool that can be used on most devices (cell phones, tablets, and computers), video chatting allows seniors to explore activities and events that they may not have otherwise been able to attend. Many senior centers, museums, concerts, and even universities offer virtual programs that can be accessed from anywhere. 

 

Virtual Reality

Popping up both in home settings and senior living communities, virtual reality technology allows seniors to explore and be active in new ways.

Virtual reality can be stimulating and spark conversation between care providers and other seniors.

 

Stay In Touch With Healthcare Medical Providers

Many medical providers offer online portals that allow their patients to stay in contact, and even have appointments via video chat.

Some providers even work with new technology that monitors vital signs remotely and communicates them back to providers.

Through automation, patients and providers can stay in better communication with one another and identify changes in their health status faster. This technology can bring healthcare into the home and increase accessibility.

Technology allows seniors to stay connected regardless of physical abilities or health conditions, improving quality of life and wellbeing.

Especially during the pandemic, many opportunities have emerged to allow seniors to stay engaged. Technological developments have also made it possible to combat isolation among older adults.

 

2. Technology Can Help Your Senior StayStaying Active

Technology allows seniors to stay physically active, in a variety of ways.

Some ways include: 

Home Exercise 

At-home exercise equipment and online exercise classes allow your loved one to stay fit from home. 

The opportunities are endless - from cycling classes to chair yoga, programs can be found for anyone no matter what their physical abilities are. You or your loved one can scan the internet for different virtual fitness classes that best fit their needs, capabilities, and interests.

 

Fall Detection Devices

Wearable gadgets such as fall detection devices allow seniors to continue doing physical activities they’ve always enjoyed such as walking or cycling while having the peace of mind that they can get help in the event of a fall. 

Be sure to find a fall detection device that can be used outside of the home.

 

3. Technology Supports Aging in Place 

Perhaps one of the best parts of technology is the way people can have an increased chance of successfully aging in place. 

Technology can be used to support a senior’s independence while providing peace of mind to concerned loved ones. It can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the specific needs of your loved one

Smart Devices

There are a variety of gadgets that can be used to make your home “smart”. This means that lights can be turned on, thermostats can be changed and phone calls can be made simply through voice control. 

This artificial intelligence can give your loved ones easy access to all the things they need to do on a regular basis in a safe way. You don’t need to worry about your loved one falling while trying to reach over and turn off a lamp or adjust the temperature. These devices can also be controlled through a mobile device app which allows family members to provide support, even when not in the home.

Automatic Medication Dispensers 

Medication management can be an obstacle for seniors wanting to safely age in place, especially if they have a memory impairment.

Automatic pill dispensers allow your loved one to fill a pill box and get reminders when it is time to take the medication. They also keep medications secured until it’s time to take them which decreases the risk of accidental overdose.


Fall Detection Devices

As mentioned above, fall detection devices can ensure help is called for in the event your loved one falls.

Some smartwatches have tools to monitor blood pressure and falls.

Stove Shut-Offs

For individuals with mild memory loss, a stove shut-off can be a helpful tool in the event a memory lapse occurs resulting in the stove being left on. 

“Senior” Friendly Gadgets

If your loved one has a visual impairment, there are phones and remote controls that can be purchased with large numbers that can be easily seen.

The phone may come as a cellphone or as a landline. These devices are often simpler to use, for seniors who feel they won’t know how to use new devices.


Video Monitoring

In many cases, monitoring your loved one on video isn’t appropriate.

However, for seniors living with memory impairment, video cameras can be one way to check in remotely if you’re providing long-distance care and require a real-time technology solution. 

 

It’s important to keep in mind that when it comes to aging in place, all these technological developments still do not replace the importance of a caregiver being present, but they can go a long way in increasing safety.

People’s lives can be vastly impacted by technological innovations. As our society becomes more and more comfortable with these tools, the impact of technology will continue to grow.

Laurel McLaughlin

Laurel McLaughlin has over a decade worth of experience in various sectors of the elder care field- home care, senior living, and non-profits. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is a certified dementia practitioner.

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