Seniors and technology have long seemed to mix like oil and water. The joke that technology is too new, complicated, and confusing for aging adults has been played out in every comic, sitcom, and movie for decades; however, the notion that technology is only for kids could not be less true.
Yes, seniors may not spend every waking moment on Facebook like their younger counterparts, but integrating technology into their lives can be very beneficial. Now, more than ever, technology is being made available to aging adults to help them live better, (and believe it or not) more simple lives. Below is a list of some of the benefits that incorporating technology can have in the lives of seniors.
Exercise is vital to the health of aging of seniors. The problem is that poor weather, lack of
time, and confusion in direction makes getting proper exercise very difficult for most seniors. However, new technology has been released that not only makes exercising easier for aging adults, it also makes it more fun! New video game systems like Wii Fit and XBOX Kinect are helping seniors stay active in the comfort of their own homes. These video game systems have a variety of games that are controlled solely by the player’s body and allow for people of all fitness levels to get involved. This means that you can have fun playing video games while getting the benefits of working out at the same time.
Social networking has become one of the most common tools for people to stay connected with friends and family around the world. Today, seniors are beginning to get more comfortable with social networking sites and video chatting services for these same reasons. Although the common belief is that social networking sites like Facebook are just for kids, the reality is that people of all ages are using the site, even seniors. Each day, these sites are becoming more accessible to users of all ages making social networking a great way to stay in touch online. Plus, most of these sites and services are free!
Medication management has been made easy with the introduction of technology. Forgetting to take medication is a common problem for seniors, and although tried and true methods like weekly pill containers are great, new technology has made medication management and health safety easier than ever. These technological aides often come in the form of smartphone apps, and include medication reminders, refill reminders, and medication descriptions. These apps prevent seniors from mixing medications that might be harmful as well as help reduce the probability of forgetting to take medications.
Technology can play a vital role in the safety of the elderly, especially when they live alone at home. Falls are very common for aging adults, and when falls occur they often cannot reach a phone to call for help. Now, the simple click of a button can bring medical assistance right to their home faster than ever before. Better yet, homes can also be equipped with devices that detect unhealthy levels of smoke, gas, or other harmful chemicals and alert authorities if needed. The introduction of technology into the homes of aging adults can help reduce the probability of serious injury or death.