Staying connected with family and friends can bring tremendous enjoyment and comfort to seniors, and to their loved ones. Digital technology – smartphones, tablets, and social media – makes this easier than ever. Although perhaps a bit slower to embrace digital technology than younger generations, many older adults have learned to use it and love the benefits.
Smartphones give seniors anytime, anywhere access to the important people in their lives – and vice versa – through phone calls, text messaging, video calls, and social media. Older adults may find some smartphones easier to use than others, including those with larger screens and fonts and voice control options. Learn about the top picks for the best smartphones for seniors in 2018.
In addition to making calls, seniors can use smartphones to send a text message, daily or less frequently, to an individual or group of loved ones to let recipients know how they are. And loved ones, in turn, can share their latest news, photos, and updates. The process takes just minutes and helps maintain close connections.
Free video calling apps enable participants to see and talk with one another, making the connection even more personal. FaceTime can be used for calls between iPhones, while Skype and the newer, easy-to-use Google Duo app let you video-chat between an iPhone and Android smartphone.
Older adults also may want to use their smartphones to look at family photos, read books, listen to audio books, and play games like Words with Friends. Downloadable apps make these activities easy to perform. Young friends and relatives, who are typically well versed in digital technology, can help seniors download and use these apps, strengthening the bond between generations.
Larger than a smartphone but smaller and lighter than a laptop computer, a tablet can be a great choice for seniors who want to surf the web, do research, check their social media accounts, download books, or play online games. A touchscreen makes tablets easy to use, and screens come in a variety of sizes.
Check out the safest, easiest to use tablets for seniors to determine the best tablet for yourself of the senior in your life. Also learn about highlight rated tablet accessories, covers, screen protectors and battery packs.
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 34% of Americans aged 65 and older visiting social networking sites and the number is growing. Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites enable seniors to stay connected with family and friends. Older adults are using their smartphones and tablets to share photos, make comments, and view the photos and postings of others on social media. These sites can be an easy and fun way for seniors to stay abreast of the activities of friends and family, as well as locate and reconnect with long-lost classmates and friends. According to another study, seniors who use social media, video-chat, and email perform better cognitively and show improved health.
Tech-savvy seniors can visit social networking sites, create a profile, and get started on their own, or a friend or relative well versed in social media can help them get started. Engaging in social media can enrich the lives of seniors who are eager for greater contact and connection.
Smart Wearable Devices
The digital revolution is helping older adults in other ways too. Wearing an activity tracker on the wrist can help seniors track their daily activity and sleep quality as they strive to boost their fitness level. Learn about the best fitness trackers for seniors in 2018.
Heart rate monitors an medical alert devices can let others know when a senior has a medical issue that needs immediate attention. Choosing a medical alert system depends on a senior’s individual needs.
Embracing the Benefits of Technology
Digital technology can have enormous benefits for seniors. Some health care facilities, like Courville, have recognized residents’ desire to be more tech savvy and provide high-speed wireless internet service and instruction on using digital devices like smartphones and tablets and accessing social media sites. Digital technology can help bring older adults and their friends and family closer.