We all live in a technology-saturated world, and new developments in technology often aim to make our lives easier. Seniors deserve the benefits that can come with augmenting their daily routines with technology, but they may also be reluctant to learn about new devices or systems. Luckily, extra help, practice, the correct tech tools, and support can ensure that your senior becomes confident engaging with these products which are designed to make their lives easier.
At Daystar Retirement Village in West Seattle, WA, we love to see our seniors engaged and thriving. We are thrilled when new technologies support our residents in maintaining their independence, staying connected, and exploring new possibilities. We’re excited to talk about some of our favorite technologies that make life much easier for the seniors we support.
What Technologies are Best for Seniors?
Seniors benefit from all kinds of technology, depending on their needs and preferences. Here are some of our favorite technologies for seniors:
- Tablets and Smartphones: iPads and Kindle Fires have a touch screen, are portable, easy to accommodate, and intuitive to use. They do, however, have the potential to be overwhelming because they serve so many functions. GrandPad aims to support seniors with tablets that connect to their loved ones via a special app and provide kind and patient tech support to seniors for a fee. Some smartphones are created with seniors in mind and include essential functions, intuitive use, and large fonts.
- Smart Speaker: Smart speakers like Amazon Alexa or Google Dot are voice-activated and can make other smart devices voice-activated as well. When asked, they provide helpful information such as weather, news, and traffic.
- Medical Alert Devices: These devices allow your senior loved one to signal for help if needed. Devices are often wearable and are activated in case of a medical emergency.
- Surveillance Technology: Video cameras for indoor and outdoor home surveillance and doorbell cameras such as Bink and Ring allow remote viewing to check in on a loved one or property, and can be monitored while away.
How Do Seniors Use Technologies?
While some seniors are as tech-savvy as their younger counterparts, other seniors require extra help and teaching when mastering new technologies. Here are some tips for helping seniors use technology:
- Think About Accessibility: Consider things like font size, brightness, and audio level when customizing technology to meet your senior’s needs.
- Reduce Choices: Get rid of apps you know your senior loved one won’t use. Install only a few high-value apps at a time and make sure your senior knows how to use them.
- Consolidate Devices: How can you use fewer devices to operate everything? Can you program a universal remote to run everything in the entertainment center? Can you use a smart tablet or smart speaker to control other smart devices?
- Practice: Set a little bit of time aside to practice something new with your senior loved one. Show them how it works, then do it again together. Watch your senior to see where they need help. Work in short bursts, review often, and celebrate success.
- Protect Against Scams: Tailor your loved one’s access to their ability to vet potential scams. Teach your loved ones how to spot potential scams.
What Can Seniors Do on the Internet?
Seniors can do anything on the internet that other people can do. Creatively using technology can solve problems associated with some common fears associated with aging and loss of independence. Here are just a few ways seniors can use the internet to make life easier:
- Order Food: From groceries to meal kits, take-out to fast food, ordering food online can ensure your senior loved one is well-fed and well-stocked.
- Shop Online: Just about anything in the world can be shipped to your door, including medications. Shopping online can save time, energy, and stress.
- Arrange Transportation: If your senior requires transportation assistance, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft ensure your senior arrives at their destination safely.
- Connect with Loved Ones: Video chat and calls with family and friends can ensure that connections flourish even when traveling to be together is impossible.
- Play Games and Watch Videos: Who doesn’t love Netflix or the ever-time-consuming Candy Crush?
How Does Technology Make Our Lives Easier?
Some areas of life that technology improves include:
- Supporting Independence: Most technology on our list supports senior independence. For example, many delivery services allow seniors to accomplish daily living activities on their own. Furthermore, there are devices that enable seniors to contact help if needed, which keeps them safe and provides peace of mind for everyone.
- Adapting for Fine Motor Needs: Changing how devices turn on or off can help seniors use them if they have difficulty manipulating light switches, lamps, or other small mechanisms. Think clap-on lights or smart light bulbs.
- Wellness Simplified: Technology is continually improving the way we stay well. From fitness trackers to telehealth, technology allows us to get up to the minute information and helps us make good health decisions.
- Connecting with Loved Ones: Technology allows us to zoom in, video chat, send pictures, videos, and funny memes. Connection with our friends and family truly increases our sense of well-being.
Providing Quality Support for Seniors in West Seattle
Here at Daystar Retirement, we are honored to partner with families in meeting our resident’s needs with quality care and attention in every domain of their lives! We’re committed to improving our residents’ daily experience, using technology and otherwise. Contact us to learn more about our senior apartments, independent living, assisted living, and respite care options and availability, or set up a tour today!