Technology can make life more fun and enjoyable for seniors — as well as keep them in touch with friends and family, monitor their health, and ensure their safety. Read on to learn how technology can enrich the lives of seniors and also deliver benefits to those who care about them.
When seniors can’t visit with their family and friends in person, video chatting can be the next best thing. Using apps like Skype, FaceTime, or Duo on mobile devices or a computer enables seniors to see and hear their loved ones while conversing. GrandCARE provides added functionality from a single screen, enabling seniors to video chat as well as access news, play games, and visit websites, as well as receive medication prompts and healthcare monitoring. There are also new ways of socializing through a new augmented reality (AR) experience with the help of Rendever. Available at Aysnley and Carlyle Place, Rendever is helping residents connect and almost literally “walk down memory lane” with the help of technology.
Smartphones can help seniors stay connected with family and friends no matter where they are and provide additional safety if seniors need assistance when they are out and about. Smartphone apps also can be used by seniors to track their blood pressure, provide medication reminders, and play brain-building games. Several cellphone makers offer phones with easy navigation, larger keys, and larger fonts for easy use. Check out these best cellphone options for seniors.
Bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop, tablets are right-sized to give seniors the tools they need to be informed and stay connected. From surfing the web, checking and answering emails, and making and receiving video calls to taking and storing photos and reading books in a variety of type sizes, lots of functionality is built into these all-in-one technology tools. From an iPad to a GrandPad®, there are plenty of easy-to use tablets for seniors.
Voice-Activated Personal Assistants
For seniors who want fast access to music, have questions they want answered, or are curious about the weather or the news, they can just ask Alexa, the voice and search technology behind the Amazon Echo. Some seniors find they prefer this easy-to-use voice interface instead of other technology. Check out these 11 ways seniors can use the Amazon Echo.
Some health wearables are designed specifically for seniors. A Lively Wearable device can track their activity, provide medication reminders, and be used to notify loved ones in a medical emergency. Some monitor a senior’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. A GPS SmartSole® can track the whereabouts of a wandering senior through a GPS tracker placed in a shoe insole. These and other helpful wearables for seniors can provide peace of mind for both seniors and their families.
Medication Management Devices
Remembering to take the right medications at the right time can be a challenge for some seniors. The free CareZone app can send an alert to a senior’s mobile device when it’s time to take a medication or refill a prescription. It also tracks health information such as blood pressure and glucose levels. The digital pill dispenser MedMinder can be loaded with a senior’s meds and then programmed online with a medication dispensing schedule. When it’s time to take a medication, the dispenser flashes, beeps, and unlocks the pill slot. A prerecorded message from a loved one is an added reminder if a medication isn’t removed, followed by reminder calls if needed. Reminder Rosie is a clock that can be programmed with multiple messages to be delivered daily in a loved one’s voice at set times. The device reminds a senior that it’s time to take a specific medication, time for an appointment or an activity, or just that the loved one is thinking of the senior.
For seniors who are still driving, a smartphone GPS app or standalone GPS can help them safely navigate during their travels about town or around the countryside. For those who prefer not to drive, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft can get seniors where they want to go without the worry or hassle of driving.