Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis
Modern technology has made just about all things in life faster, easier, and more accurate. Seniors stand to benefit greatly from investing in certain technologies – not the least of which is the ability to age in place safely. Certain technologies can help bridge the care gaps and offer similar levels of security and peace of mind when compared with the built-in assistance older adults have in senior living facilities such as assisted living or nursing homes. Even for seniors that live in facilities, these life-changing technologies can prove to be highly beneficial for our senior loved ones.
Older Adults and Technology Use
Over the last two decades, technology has advanced significantly. For example, the internet has brought a wide range of opportunities for individuals of all ages. Because they have grown up with it, most young adults find it effortless to use modern tech. On the other hand, older folks are often less likely to use advanced technologies. Some elderly folks, especially those who have never used the internet or a smartphone, may not realize how technology may benefit them.
But the good news is that the usage of technologies is on the rise over the last few years. For instance, in 2021, 75% of seniors over 65 use internet at home. Recent internet use among women aged 75 and up has more than doubled since 2011, according to the same statistics.
Barriers to Older Adults Using Technology
We already know that adopting to a new technology is extremely challenging for our senior loved ones. But why so? Here are 4 challenges elderlies face when using technology.
1. Limitations to physical abilities
Elderlies have physical limitations that cause difficulties in them to use technologies. Physical conditions like chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and others can limit everyday functions. As a result, using tech devices like mobile phones or laptops can be vulnerable for them.
Another issue arises is with their vision when seniors start aging. The ability to see and understand things clearly starts deteriorating after the age of 50. This causes harms in senior perception of new technology and devices.
2. The ever-changing tech scenario
Many elderly folks are skeptical of technology advancements and feel frightened by them. This mindset is frequently accompanied by self-doubt and fear. As a result, it prevent them from experimenting with new innovations.
3. Lack of understanding and assistance
Older individuals, like everyone else, benefit from one-on-one instruction and hands-on practice. To avoid outbursts or irritation, it’s important to remember to teach older individuals how to use new gadgets or systems slowly and patiently. But when they don’t get that support, it becomes almost impossible for them to grasp things on their own.
4. Overflow of information
The internet has negative consequences. With its large volume of data, it empowers users. Information overload, on the other hand, might be frightening for elderly people who are just learning how to use the internet.
7 Best Technologies Seniors Should Get Their Hands on
We have listed 7 life-changing technologies for seniors to invest in. Let’s know everything about them:
1. Medical Alert Systems
Health risks grow as people age. As a result, the need for increased health monitoring becomes inevitable. Medical alert systems, such as fall detection bracelets or mobile apps that connect people with care providers immediately, can help save lives. If you fall while alone in your home, medical alert bracelet technology notifies a designated central monitoring location or designated caregiver to let them know you’re in danger. Once received, personnel reviews the signal and dispatches help if needed.
Telehealth is also a growing field in the age of technology. Telehealth means the the use of telecommunications and information technology to provide remote health examin6ations and treatments. This is a broad concept that includes video or voice messaging consultations on electronic devices like phones, tablets, and computers. There are various benefits of Telehealth for seniors, especially during times of crisis.
2. Smart Home Devices
These devices are another class of valuable assistive aids for older adults who want to age in place safely. Smart home device technology provides seniors with some of the same comforts and assistance they would otherwise be provided in a senior living facility without having to leave the couch. Medication reminders, for example, help keep seniors on track when it comes to their health. It can be difficult to keep track of medications – when you’re supposed to take them, how much, and whether or not you should have food. Medication dispensers can give seniors reminders, dispense medication, and even order refills. Through voice control and video conferencing technology, people can even communicate with medical professionals right from the device.
Additionally, smart home device technology can assist older adults that have difficulty moving around manage their surroundings. For example, smart lighting keypads can control certain fixtures and turn them on and off automatically throughout the day. Meanwhile, smart thermostats can help maintain seniors’ preferred temperature settings throughout the home all day.
3. Home Security Systems
One of the primary reasons behind a senior’s choice to relocate to a senior living facility is the opportunity to live with peace of mind. The senior living environment comes with heightened security and safeguards when compared to their traditional home and living independently. Seniors can invest in home security systems that are reliable and provide this same peace of mind without paying the high cost associated with moving into a senior living facility. The majority of modern security systems account for the unique living needs of older adults, including sensors for glass breaks and sensors for heat and freeze. These types of safeguards and the security they bring allow seniors to live in the comfort of their home for longer than before.
4. Socializing through smart devices
Older adults tend to have less opportunity for social engagement, even those who live in assisted living facilities or other senior care options. As a result, loneliness and isolation become common feelings, and this can lead to depression or other health issues. Social media can help seniors stay connected with their loved ones and friends on a more consistent basis. Social media communication platforms like Facetime and Skype allow older adults to communicate with their families and grandchildren – which helps to promote closeness even when they must be apart.
In recent years, the number of senior gamers has also increased dramatically. In some cases, senior gaming teams compete entirely from the comfort and privacy of own houses. Gaming has been demonstrated in studies to help with pain relief, which is beneficial because elderly patients are more prone to joint pain.
5. Mobility and transportation
Mobility is another important area where technology is proving to offer value to the lives of older individuals while also increasing their freedom and confidence to move around.
Specialized ride booking with GoGoGrandparent can benefit the seniors with increased mobility. These provide transportation with drivers who are educated in basic emergency medical aid, allowing the elderly to do grocery shopping, visit family and friends, and so on with confidence. This also allows seniors to live a more active and socially engaged life.
6. Staying active
New technology also provides a great opportunity to seniors to stay active in their everyday lives. Music from their youth can be played on devices like the home care tablet, which may get them up and moving. Video games may appear to be a thing for a much younger group, but they can also help older adults improve their spatial awareness, and memory skills.
Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, cognitive games might help seniors feel less depressed. Physical activities for assisted living residents have been shown in research to boost mood and reduce anxiety on several occasions. Technology can assist elders in staying active, which is a genuine benefit of modern technology.
7. Voice activation
Even for millennials and young baby boomers, smart home technology is still a relatively new item. But trends show that it is an up-and-coming tool in senior living. Voice-activated smart technology, such as Amazon’s “Hey Alexa,” can provide much-needed control to senior citizens. It is one of the revolutionary life-changing technologies for seniors. A resident can keep freedom simply by using his or her voice, from turning off the lights to changing the television channel or volume with only a few words.
Technology for seniors with dementia
There are many different types of technology that can be used to help seniors with dementia. Some common examples include:
– Smartphones or tablets with dementia apps installed
– Voice recognition software
– GPS tracking devices
Each of these tools can help seniors stay connected to their loved ones and caregivers, as well as remain safe and independent. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to find the right technology for each individual senior.
There is an endless number of choices when it comes to technological devices. You can choose from smartphones, fitness tools, and tracking devices, or even more unusual options such as assistive devices and home safety equipment.
There are so many opportunities to take advantage of these life-changing technologies for seniors to help enhance their quality of life. Improved safety, mobility, and health are just some of the benefits. In the next decade, we can easily expect the boomers to enter into the tech-savvy group of individuals!
How is technology changing senior care?
Technology has been changing senior care in many aspects. It enables senior living providers to cut costs on several aspects of senior care. Seniors can also live a better and healthier life with the help of technology.
What are the modern technologies for seniors in assisted living?
Some modern technologies for seniors in assisted living include Amazon Echo, VR, GPS trackers, and many more.
How can technology help improve elder care?
Technology can help improve elder care in many ways including assisting them for mobility, staying active, connecting with family and friends, and entertainment.
How has technology helped the senior citizens of today?
Modern tech can assist seniors in improving their physical and mental health, and their social lives. Apps and social media can help seniors avoid loneliness, while the internet can make shopping and bill paying easier.
Why are older people skeptical of technology?
Older people are skeptical of technology because of their difficulty of understanding the usage of modern tech. Many seniors don’t also get the required assistance to get their hands on new devices. As a result, using new technology becomes a horrifying experience for the seniors.
How will the elderly cope with new technology trends?
Elderlies have to cope with much scarier situation related to their everyday life, and physical and mental health. Still, the best way to help the elderlies cope with new technology trends is patiently teaching them about the new things in the world.
What do seniors want to know about technology?
Seniors have started wanting to know about technology due to its multitude of benefits. The best of them is connecting with friends and family while being in retirement accommodations.
How do you engage senior citizens with technology?
Engaging senior citizens with technology can be challenging. The best way to overcome the situation is to deal with them with utmost patience and care. And eventually, to teach them about the benefits of using the life-changing technologies