There’s a pervasive stereotype that older adults and retirees tend to shy away from technology–choosing instead to hold on to their antiquated ways and lagging behind the digital age. But the trope of the digitally naïve senior isn’t nearly as statistically relevant as it once was. Today, Nearly 60 percent of seniors regularly use the Internet; with people as old as the 85-90 age range utilizing social media, computers, and tablet technology. An older adult exiting today’s workforce has most likely already spent more than 20 years working with computers and technology. More importantly, there are essential tech tools available right now that can make life easier, healthier, and more comfortable for seniors; allowing them to remain in their own homes for longer and extending their independence far longer than ever before.
Here’s a look at some of the technology that’s making aging today easier than ever before:
With large, easy to read screens, the ability to video conference, a user-friendly interface, the ability to share photos at the touch of an app, email at your fingertips, Internet access, and many other plusses, many seniors are opting to use their tablets and e-readers instead of laptops and desktop computers. Unless they’re doing extensive work on the computer, the benefits and mobility of a tablet can often make them a simple, easy to use alternative to the traditional computer.
Young urban professionals are not the only ones joining the smart watch craze. Many seniors are excited about the many options available on today’s stylish and tech-savvy all-in-one smartwatch selections. Alarms, cell phone synching, fitness tracking, medication reminders, GPS capability, and activity sensors are just the tip of the iceberg. There are even senior monitoring devices that work directly with smartwatches, eliminating the need for old school style clunky, awkward pendants and making it easy for emergency personnel to locate an unresponsive patient.
Medical Alert Bracelets
Working in conjunctions with a medical alert system, medic alert bracelets notify a specialized command center when you press a button, allowing someone on the other end to dispatch emergency personnel to your doorstep within moments. They also maintain all of your health information–making them an essential tool for any senior dealing with a long term health concern or chronic condition. And unlike the gaudy plastic bracelets of the past, today’s medical alert bracelets can be found in any number of stylish and attractive configurations.
Nearly 80% of Americans over the age of 65 own a cell phone. Of those, about 35% own a smartphone of some kind. In addition to general apps like email, social media, weather, and news feeds, many companies are designing applications with seniors specifically in mind. Among these are medication reminders, blood pressure trackers, activity logs, and even memory and brain enhancing games.
Wearable Fitness Monitors
More than ever before, seniors are monitoring their activity and sleep levels. Recent studies have even shown than older adults who get regular exercise are less likely to suffer a fracture and subsequent hospital stay after a fall. With this information in mind, fitness trackers can be an essential piece of technology for older adults trying to ensure that they’re getting enough exercise on a daily basis. The more informed a senior is about their wellbeing and health, the more able they are to make good decisions about themselves and their independence.
Technology makes it easier for seniors to stay in touch with family that lives far away, remain living independently, find assistance when they need it, and enjoy their retirement years in ways that simply wasn’t possible in years past. In other words, if there’s technology that’s useful to a young person, there is probably a version of that same tech gadget that a senior will find helpful as well.
Written by Jeff Wilson, “At Emergency ID, we have been creating and manufacturing medical ID products in Canada for nearly 20 years. We are proud to design and create fashionable and durable medical ID bracelets and necklaces, as well as other forms of medical ID. We believe that medical alert ID products should be accessible to everyone who needs them, and therefore keeping our prices affordable is a top priority. This is also why we’ve made our online Datafile free to anyone, regardless of whether or not you buy a product from us.”