Technology for Seniors
Technology is such a large part of life these days. We are spoiled for choice, and often the noise of too many options can be overwhelming. The tech space is producing some real benefits for people of all ages.
Seniors now have access to devices and apps that improve social connections and cognitive function, as well as keeping them safe and giving a hand with little things that can sometimes be a challenge as we age.
Take a look at the list below, which has curated some beneficial technology options for seniors. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it can get you started navigating the world of tech and discovering for yourself the many ways it can improve your daily life.
Smartphone / Tablet
The features of the smartphone and tablet go way beyond phone calls and emails. There are endless apps that can be downloaded, many of which are free. There are also settings on these devices that allow you to set your text to a larger setting, as well as a voice-to-text feature that types what you speak if your hands are unsteady with the keyboard.
- Magnifying Glass with Light – hover it over text and read the larger words on your screen. Perfect for restaurant menus with tiny text.
- Pill Reminder by Medisafe – reminds you to take medication and sends alerts to caregivers if a dosage has been missed.
- Kindle – download your favorite books on the screen. You can zoom in, highlight, and take notes as well.
- GPS – the maps feature can help you find your way home if you’ve gotten lost taking the scenic route. You can also share your location with friends and family.
- Words With Friends – Scrabble for the screen. Get your friends an family on the app as well and play each other.
- Duolingo – learn one of many languages on offer and keep your brain sharp.
- Memory games – there are endless options here, but these can help maintain and improve cognitive function.
- Social Media – pick your poison here, popular ones to connect with family and friends are facebook and instagram.
- Facetime – a call feature that allows you to video chat with loved ones. Great for feeling close when you’re far away.
Medical Alert Systems
A medical alert system is often a wearable necklace or bracelet that is connected to a cellular or home line. These systems give you the ability to alert a call center, 911, or family member in the case of an emergency with the click of a button. There are many offerings of this service depending on your lifestyle and needs.
Video games are not just stationary any more: they can get you up and moving! Nintendo Wii, Dance Dance Revolution, and Guitar Hero are some of the more popular games that actually interact with your movements in the real world. Get up and exercise, dance, play a game of golf, or play the guitar solo of a popular song and see your results on the screen.
A Fitbit is a bracelet that will help you stay on top of your exercise goals. Some features of these activity trackers are counting steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality. Smartwatches also have these features if you want a watch that can do even more.
The Roomba is a hands-free circular vacuum cleaner that cleans the floor all by itself. This is a great idea if your back gives you trouble when you bend over to do the vacuuming.
Ride-sharing apps allow you to call a ride to your exact location through it’s GPS services. It saves your payment details so there is no exchange of money at the end of the ride. You can read reviews on the drivers before you get in the car and share your moment-by-moment location with friends and family in transit. There are starting to be endless phone apps for ride-sharing, and it’s hard to know which is better. Uber and Lyft still seem to be the most popular, so it’s best to see which one has the most options in your town.
This technology is for seniors that have a hard time hearing the television. Think of these as personal headphones that allow you to hear the television at your own volume. You set the sound to the level that makes you comfortable without having to disrupt your family or neighbors with your television on too loud.
This is a digital photo frame that is connected to a smartphone app. It allows you to send photos from your phone to the frame. The frame, which you can set up anywhere in your house, rotates through the photos. You can also have friends share photos to your Nixplay device. If you aren’t savvy with smartphones, have a friend or family member set up an account on your behalf. This can be a great way for the family to send photo updates to you through a picture frame in your own home.
If reading this has inspired you to infuse a little more tech into your life, be sure you do some homework in picking out the right product and service. And if you are new to the tech world, please read through our tips to avoid senior scams. Technology is full of possibilities, and being informed helps you enjoy your tech safely.