The technology in 2022 is unlike anything many of us experienced in our youth. We’re not The Jetsons yet, but we’re well on our way. Advances in technology happen quickly and therefore can be intimidating and maybe even a bit scary. There’s no reason to miss out on the convenience and opportunity of modern technology. Learn to safely and confidently navigate today’s tech-heavy world to take advantage of the benefits of technology for seniors.
Our friendly and competent staff at Daystar Living in West Seattle, Washington is here to keep you in the know and in the now with the latest technologies seniors use to improve their lives. We’ve polled our residents and professionals to create a comprehensive list of beneficial technology for seniors. Save this list for future gift ideas and deliver a practical and functional gift that will actually be used.
Technology to Simplify Life
1. Smartphone- A smartphone is a computer in your pocket. It can do almost anything a larger computer can. Though some phones are made specifically for seniors, they are not typically smartphones. If you choose a smartphone, do your research prior so you will be sure to get the most out of your experience, and safely and confidently use the features and applications (apps.) Here are some of our favorite ways seniors use smartphones in their daily lives:
- Video chat with friends and family
- Exchange photographs and videos
- Weather Alerts
- Order Takeout, Groceries, or Prescriptions
- Shop online
- Arrange Transportation
Free Apps that Make a Senior’s Life Easier
We have compiled a list of our favorite go-to apps seniors use most often.
Transportation and Delivery
Health and Wellbeing
- Snug- Daily check-in service for people who live alone
- Medisafe-Medication tracker
- GoodRx- Finds the best local prices for your prescription
- Pharmacy Specific Apps- like Walgreens or RiteAid
- Pillboxie- Easy, intuitive, and visual medication management.
- Words with Friends
2. Computer/Tablet-Seniors can use their tablet or computer for social media like Facebook or Instagram, news, hobbies, and creative projects. Larger touch-screen tablets are as intuitive as smartphones and run most of the same applications but may be easier for seniors to see.
3. Smart Speaker- Home assistant devices like Alexa and Google Dot are inexpensive, widely available, and can be voice-activated to make emergency calls or control lights and other smart household devices. The ability to use your voice to operate your home or call for help in an emergency gives many people added peace of mind.
4. Fitness Tracker- Keep tabs on your heart rate, step count, and sleep with a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Apple watch. These trackers may also help rescuers find you if you fall on a walk or become lost.
5. Security System- From video doorbells, cameras, and other monitoring systems, protect your and your home with a video record and remote viewing while you are at home or away.
Gadgets for Seniors who Want to Remain Independent
6. Technology to Help Seniors who have Fallen- Seniors are at increased risk for falls and may have difficulty moving once they have fallen. Consider investing in the technology to help you up.
- Lift chair: Medical supplies like lift chairs can be lifesavers.
- Lifting cushions- There are relatively inexpensive options such as an Upeasy power lifting cushion or Mangar Camel airflow cushion.
- Self-inflating air mattress- This may seem like an industry hack but consider the benefits. A tall air mattress can raise an existing bed by more than a foot, which can help you move into a more favorable position at a much lower price point. It requires a nearby plug and space to inflate, which can present a logistical challenge. They may also lose air over time, but the built-in electric pump can quickly reinflate the mattress with the flip of a switch.
7. Analog (non-digital) Tools for Seniors- Not all life-changing technology is digital. Keep yourself safe, steady and functioning in your daily routine with the right stuff. Match the tool to your need with items like:
- Lights-Motion-activated lights like nightlights make sure you always have a clearly lit path. Nightlights come in a variety of styles to fit your need and personal style.
- Magnifiers- Keep portable magnifiers handy and consider a larger, lighted magnifier for daily use.
- Appliances with big buttons-Phones, clocks, remotes, and many other items for daily use have models with large buttons to make use easier for people with visual impairments.
- Robotic and Automatic Appliances and Tools- Modern technology has provided us with tools and appliances that so things for us that may be more physically challenging as we age. For example, an electric dishwasher or robotic vacuum gets the job done efficiently and requires less labor. You can relax while the robot does the floors.
- Reach extenders- Many older adults find their ability to bend, lift and reach reduced. Make dressing and self-care easy with tools like:
- Zipper puller
- No-tie laces
- Long-handled shoehorn
- Long-handled scrubber
- Long-handled personal hygiene wands
- Reacher grabber
- Non-slip stepstool
Come See the Difference for Yourself
If you’re interested in joining us at Daystar Village in West Seattle, we’d love to talk to you. We can’t wait for you to visit our charming campus, meet our wonderful residents and experience the comradery and sense of community Daystar offeres.