Staying Connected: The Importance of Technology for Seniors
Technology has changed our lives in more ways than we can count. Remember the days of quiet, black-and-white, grainy CRT televisions? Today, most homes have wider, high-resolution LCD screens with Dolby surround. And forget about fixing the antenna. These televisions are plug and play, capable of streaming several subscriptions that allow us to watch and rewatch all the shows we love. Computers? Floppy disks are a thing of the past, and thankfully, nobody must lug around giant, box-sized screens. Everyone now has smartphones with tiny, power-packed processors that house several gigabytes of storage. Whereas people used to telegram each other or speak on rotary dial phones, now, your friends and loved ones are just a video call away whenever you miss them.
These innovations are part of our daily lives. However, when it comes to technology for seniors, how can you catch up to the ever-changing times?
The Benefits of Technology for Seniors
Technology is designed to make life easier, especially for adults. Understanding its many benefits can help you appreciate it more.
Social media allows you to connect with your family and friends. You can quickly alert your doctor, caregiver, or healthcare provider when you need assistance, giving you peace of mind. Technology also provides us ample entertainment: from helpful YouTube videos and the latest news to games where you can challenge your thinking. Some technologies help you monitor your health, keeping you up to date with your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as counting the number of steps you have taken. Technology can inspire you to learn a new language, master new crafts, discover new restaurants in town, and even provide access to transportation!
How To Get Started with Technology
Today’s newer gadgets may seem intimidating, but surprisingly, technology for seniors is not as complicated as it looks. Once you understand its basics, you can easily navigate this privilege in the palm of your hand.
The first thing you need to know is that your gadget, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone, or laptop, works best with the internet. Connections are accessed through Wi-Fi names and passwords. This is easily accessed through a three-ringed icon on your device’s main display.
Your device also comes with an assistant. This could be activated through gestures, pressing a specific button with a long pause, or voice commands. When purchasing a new device, ask the staff to help you set it up. Or, enlist your friends and family for help! Have your grandkids teach you the ins and outs of your devices. This could be a great bonding time for you! Let them know what kind of apps you would like to have on your device, and ask them to help you download them.
“Search” is a handy tool. You can use this feature to find particular settings instead of browsing through your phone to find them. If your device overwhelms you with many apps, locate them using a keyword.
The Best Types of Technology for Seniors
There’s no need to know about every technology that comes your way. Just choose the ones that suit your lifestyle. With your smartphone or tablet in mind, consider the following:
- Communication apps. Most of these are paired with social media platforms. Facebook’s Messenger App lets you chat with your private group and enable video calls with four or more people. Zoom, which can be opened through links, allows you to conference with fifty other individuals. Other apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, and Skype let you call and chat over Wi-Fi. Best of all, these apps are free.
- Banking apps. Downloading the app of your bank lets you escape the long lines and manage your finances in the comfort of your own home. These apps allow you to transfer funds to another account, make payments, receive money, or even manage investments!
- Food delivery services. Get sumptuous meals from your favorite restaurants with just a few clicks and have them delivered right to your doorsteps. Some apps connect to various restaurants across the city, so you can eat the food you like without the hassle of going out.
- Transportation apps. These apps are best for seniors who cannot drive—or prefer not to. Ridesharing apps let you book a trip to a destination, and someone will come to fetch you. This enables you to travel around while you relax in the passenger seat.
- Medical apps. Technology can also be used to oversee your wellness and make sure you are in your best shape. Some apps can read your heart rate, monitor your blood pressure, count the number of steps you have taken, and invite you to move around so you can achieve all-around health. Most of these apps are embedded in small, wearable devices, with information that could also be accessed through your phone. Some apps allow you to connect with a professional if you need help.
- Entertainment apps. Keep your mind busy with downloadable games. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, scrabble, and even chess can be enjoyed through your device! Don’t be afraid to show off your high scores on the leaderboard!
- Notes. Great for listing essential things, such as groceries and to-do reminders.
Tips For Using Technology Safely and Effectively
While technology for seniors is designed to be beneficial, there is also a downside. Hackers are becoming more capable of breaking into other users’ accounts. That’s why it’s vital to secure yours.
Most of today’s devices require log-in credentials. This often includes your email, username, and password. Your email is precious. Not only is it a way for your subscribed programs to communicate with you, but you can use it to prove that the account is yours.
This is why securing your emails and passwords is essential. It would be best to strengthen your password to avoid an outsider’s access to your account. Never use your name, birthday, or details that are openly related to you on your log-in credentials.
It is widely suggested to use a different password for every account. If you need to keep track of what they are, write down these details and hide them in a safe place. You can also use a password-securing app that enters the password whenever you need to log in.
To ensure your device and accounts’ safety, toggle on the two-step verification. When you log in, the app will send you a unique code that will allow you to access it. Never share these codes with anyone else.
Your device comes with a program that can track it should it gets lost. Make sure to activate that in the settings.
The Importance of Staying Connected in Today’s World
Fortunately, there are many strategies for you to make the most of technology. For one, if you have an issue with a touch screen, you could attach a keyboard instead. Some gestures and voice commands offer better accessibility and bigger fonts so you can read things better.
Staying informed and being connected are just two of the many advantages of technology for seniors. The internet is a treasure trove of information where you can discover new things and broaden your interests.
Technology also allows you to discover a new community that fits your lifestyle after retirement. Come and connect with us at Meadow! We thrive in the many changes of today to give you the best care and assistance with foresight and joy. Call us today at 609-448-4100 and learn how we can be your next home.