For people who grew up with rotary phones, encyclopedia sets and the Sears Roebuck catalog, today’s technology can be disorienting. Many adults – not just seniors – turn up their noses at social media and the ubiquity of phones.
While technology can be mindless, anti-social and all-consuming, it also confers plenty of benefits on those who use it to improve their lives. In fact, there are numerous technological advancements that can make life easier for seniors.
Here are six of them:
1. Video Chatting
If the grandkids can’t make it across the country to visit grandma with their new baby, at least they can show their faces using the consumer-friendly technology of video chatting. Skype and Facetime are the best known of the video chatting services, all of which allow video and audio connections between users no matter the distance. It’s not a gimmick; it’s a great advancement of particular value to the elderly who aren’t as mobile.
2. High-Tech Hearing Aids
The sound is better and the aesthetics are solved with today’s hearing aids, which can be made so small, thanks to the miniaturization of the electronics, that they’re essentially unnoticeable. Add wireless transmission and you have crystal clear sound. Hearing is easier than ever for today’s seniors.
3. Personal Emergency Response Systems
No more yelling that you’ve fallen and can’t get up, like a widely-mocked late night TV commercial. Today’s emergency response systems can be worn inconspicuously on the wrist or on a belt, and alerted with the touch of a button, sending out the exact location of the wearer. Best of all, it’s mobile, so grandpa has backup no matter where he goes.
4. Tablets and E-Readers
To read a book, seniors with vision issues used to have to travel to the library and take out a large print book, if there was one on the shelves that they wanted to read. Today, they can download books to their tablet or e-reader and adjust the font size to their liking. Although there is a cost, many libraries now lend e-books for free.
5. Medication Management Systems
These systems remind their owners to take their medications, dispense the proper doses, calculate and report missed doses, store health information and contact pharmacies for refills. Many of them are even HIPPA-compliant. Thanks to the online connectivity of the systems, family members of seniors who have trouble keeping track of their prescriptions no longer have to worry.
6. Smart Watches & Activity Trackers
Technology makes it easier to ensure you stay active as you age. Most smart watches and activity trackers will track your steps, calories burned during exercise and even your resting and active heart rates. Some higher-end models, such as the Apple Watch, can even help detect irregular heartbeats, which can alert users to a possible heart situation that needs addressed. You can share your daily progress with friends, and even test your loved ones with activity challenges to see who can meet and exceed their fitness goals.
Technology doesn’t have to be silly and time-wasting. There are plenty of products specifically designed for a better life.
Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.