Older adults and technology don’t have the best reputation for working together. But when you can find the right tools to address the right problems, it can make an enormous difference in your quality of life. And that can be especially true for elderly adults living at home and trying to maintain their independence. But what might that include? Below you can learn more about what technology for the elderly living alone can offer.
Benefits of Seniors Using Technology
Recent research from Pew has found seniors are spending more time using screens than ever before. About 73% of all seniors are internet users, and more than half are using smartphones. The idea that seniors and technology are incompatible is not only incorrect, it’s might even be harmful, as it can stand in the way of adopting potentially helpful tools.
With that said, there are four main benefits of technology for seniors that you might want to think about while exploring your options: safety, convenience, socialization, and entertainment. And many devices deliver on more than one of those things.
How Does Technology Help the Elderly?
Again, the way technology can help you will mostly depend on the problems you need to be solved. For instance, digital pill dispensers that eject medications at appropriate times of day can be a great convenience for the right person. A smart home security system can also provide a mix of socialization, safety, and convenience. It can provide assurances that loved ones are safe or take advantage of interactive two-way calling features for more face-time.
Games are another good example. When you think of elderly loved ones, the first word that comes to mind might not be “gamer.” But there are a variety of benefits to playing digital games. Some games provide opportunities for social connectivity, while others can have an array of positive cognitive effects.
You can also find a huge number of senior-friendly games that are inexpensive or entirely free. If entertainment and socialization are something that you think could help, it might be worth learning more about how playing video games helps seniors.
Other Technology for Seniors Living Alone
Voice assistant AI, available in products like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Assistant, can make a world of difference for some seniors. With a little practice, you can use them to stream music, create lists, set alarms, enable hands-free calling, and so on. It can also provide voice control over other smart-connected devices like lights, locks, and thermostats.
Biometric tracking devices can be useful for monitoring heart rate, calorie consumption, sleep quality, and a wide variety of other useful medical data. Of course, not every bit of technology that can help seniors is Internet-connected. There are also very simple things that can make a big difference for independent living, like motion-activated lights or keyless locks.
In fact, some of the most significant technology for seniors are simple devices that make daily tasks just a little easier, like a shower chair or mat. Even just adding lights where they’re needed can make an enormous difference!
Older Adults Using Technology
Research shows one of the bigger barriers to older adults using technology is adoption. It’s not always immediately obvious how new technology can make their lives better. And that makes it important to recognize it may not be enough to simply offer one of these tools as a gift; seniors using technology may require more guidance than that. But with a little assistance, those who want to remain independent have plenty of options for making their lives safer and more comfortable.