Today’s seniors grew up playing games fueled by their athleticism and imagination—a stark contrast from today’s youth who know how to use a touch screen before they can talk. And whether or not we’re “born digital,” technology has become an integral part of life, helping people at every age and stage of life.
Here are just a few ways technology benefits seniors:
According to Pew Research Center, half of Internet users 65-74 have a social media profile. Of those who log on, 71 percent do so every day. Facebook, Twitter, and Skype/FaceTime enables older adults to keep up with the times and stay in touch with family members and friends. One of the greatest benefits of technology is that it keeps us connected, not only with one another but with the world around us. It has the power to lift spirits, encourage learning, and improve cognitive function.
The Reminder Rosie clock, created by LifeAssist Technologies, allows you to record personalized messages and reminders, broadcast in the home at certain times. (Reminders can range from “Take your medication,” to “The grandkids are coming over tonight,” etc.).
RxmindMe, Personal Caregiver, and the MediSafe Project medication smartphone reminders can help seniors remember not only when to take their medication, but when it’s time to refill a prescription.
A Personal Emergency Response System (aka Medical Emergency Response System, or Medical Alert System) device gives the person wearing it the confidence of knowing—in the event of an emergency situation—help will be on the way with the push of a button. For those with cognitive impairments, the GPS SmartSole insole tracking device can “monitor the whereabouts of loved ones who may have a tendency to wander or at risk of becoming disoriented and lost,” according to their website. The peace of mind afforded to family members and caregivers can be invaluable.
FITNESS AND HEALTH
Wii game consoles make exercise fun (and competitive), while simulating the real world. Popular games include bowling, Wii Fit Plus (yoga and balance), Walk It Out, and hunting and fishing games. Virtual reality computer-based technology allows seniors to get out and explore the world—all from the comfort and safety of their home. Trackable fitness tools are useful in that they monitor behavior and health conditions. These same tools can be connected to family members’ smartphones, giving them a way to keep track of their loved one’s movements. (This can be especially helpful if the family member doesn’t live nearby.)
Brain games for seniors can target memory, attention, and focus. Suduko, Words with Friends, crossword puzzles, and electronic games—found on sites like Luminosity and AARP—can both tease and challenge the brain.
We live in an always-evolving world of technology with new inventions hitting the market on a regular basis. Exciting advancements can keep seniors connected, active, mentally stimulated, and safe, improving their overall quality of life. That’s great news at any age.