Over the last couple of decades, technology has come on in leaps and bounds. For example, the internet has opened up so many doors for people of all ages, making it easier for people to shop, learn, and work. Most people find modern technology easy to use because they’ve grown up using it. Older people, on the other hand, might not appreciate how technology could benefit them, especially if they’ve never used a smartphone or the internet before.
Alongside the internet and mobile devices, there are a host of other technological devices such as medical alert devices for elderly people that have improved dramatically over the past ten years.
We’ve all become rather reliant on technology, but in this post, we’ll look at some examples of how technology can help older people.
Are Seniors Using Technology?
Older people are increasingly embracing technology. According to recent research, 77% of over-65s used the internet at home in 2020. According to the same findings, recent internet use among women ages 75 and over has more than doubled since 2011.
Recent internet use in the 65-74 age group has increased from 52% in 2011 to 83% in 2019. This means older people are closing the generation gap in technology usage. Older people aren’t just using their computers either. They’re branching out into mobile phones and tablets too.
The internet can seem very daunting for the older generation but an understanding of it can make such a difference. The world wide web is still relatively young, which means older people haven’t had the chance to grow up with it in the way younger generations have.
For older people, the internet opens up a whole range of opportunities. As long as there is an internet connection, they can:
- Order their weekly shopping to be delivered to their front door
- Video chat with friends and family on the other side of the world
- Share photographs and updates on social media websites
- Keep their brains active by playing games with friends
- Paying bills and organizing bank accounts
- Watching movies and TV shows through streaming services
Teenagers and young people are the most common users of mobile phones, but older people use them too. According to a survey, 65% of over-65s in the UK personally used a smartphone in 2020.
As society moves away from traditional landline phone connections, mobile phone technology is becoming more important for older people.
If a senior isn’t looking for a high-tech smartphone with all the bells and whistles, there are still plenty of options. For example, there are devices that have been designed specifically for elderly people, the most common of which is the big button phone. There’s nothing fancy about them. They have big buttons which makes them easier to use for people with sight issues or arthritis.
Since the launch of the iPads in 2010, touchscreen tablets have become very common in households. Tablets are a midpoint between laptops and mobile phones and are designed so that you can pick them up and surf the net in seconds.
The benefits of owning a tablet include:
- Bigger screens which are perfect for anyone with vision issues
- Amazing apps that allow you to watch movies, play games, and chat with friends
- Affordable: tablets tend to be cheaper than laptops and desktop computers
- Mobility: A tablet doesn’t weigh much, but they are a decent size and incredibly portable
Staying fit and healthy is very important, no matter your age. However, staying active is especially important for older people. The healthier you are, the more chances you have of avoiding common medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
There are various fitness devices that can help older people monitor their daily activity and track their progress. Most fitness devices can track the following:
- Daily steps
- Calories burned
- Heart rate
- Sleeping patterns
Some devices come with GPS technology and connect to an Android or Apple mobile phone. Some are also waterproof so you can use them while swimming.
There are countless apps available for both Android and Apple devices. Some of the most common types of apps include:
- News apps: All major newspapers and TV news outlets have apps to help break news stories quicker
- Weather apps: It’s always good to have the forecast at the click of a button
- Games: There are thousands of games to choose from and they help prevent boredom and keep your brain active
- Social media: Stay in touch with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or Zoom
- Shopping: An increasing number of High Street shops now have their own apps
- Music, TV, and film: There are many different streaming apps to choose from allowing you to watch your favorite shows and movies without needing to download them
Apps can also be used to help older people stay safe at home. There are various healthcare apps that help older people manage their medication. You can set alarms to make a sound and tell you which medication you need to take throughout the day.
In addition, there are life-saving personal alarm systems that allow older people and disabled people to live independently in the comfort of their own homes. A Lifeline pendant, for example, ensures you can get help immediately if you feel unwell or suffer a fall.
If you have a loved one who’s getting on in years you now know how technology can help them to improve their physical and mental well-being as well as their social lives. In addition, it can help keep them safe.