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User-Friendly Devices for Tech-Savvy Seniors  

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Now more than ever before, many seniors are turning to the internet for entertainment, news, weather, and communication. They are even signing up for social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Some seniors use their cellphones to attempt to make an online love connection via internet dating websites.

Seniors are not quite as tech savvy as teenagers, but they have come a long way in the past decade. Here are some tech-friendly technological devices to help make life easier for seniors and their in-home caregivers.

  • Tablets promote better brain health.
    A tablet provides most of the options of a laptop with added mobility. It is larger than a cellphone, and therefore easier to operate, but small enough to fit in the pocket of a robe or an apron that fastens onto a walker or wheelchair.
  • Hearing aids are no longer an inconvenience.
    A few decades ago a hearing aid looked more like a transistor radio with a wire that linked the in-ear device to its battery pack. Today’s hearing aids are minuscule, even being implemented right into the ear.
  • Computer games offer cognitive support.
    Can you imagine your elderly family members playing popular games that are apps on mobile devices, such as Angry Birds or Candy Crush? Perhaps they do! They are not just entertaining themselves. They are also improving cognition and increasing social interaction.
  • Skype helps with staying in touch.
    Younger family members lead busy lives. Sometimes they live far away from an elderly loved one. Have an in-home caregiver help set up a Skype connection to stay in touch with friends and family via the internet.
  • Smartphones help locate lost or injured seniors.
    Many of today’s smartphones have built-in GPS location. A senior without an emergency alert device can use their smartphone to call for help in case of emergency. They can also use apps to remind them to do things like take their medication or eat at specific times.
  • Assistive technology makes life easier.
    In-home caregivers are sometimes only present on certain days, or at certain times of day. Assistive technology provides devices that do things like dispense bedtime medication, or use motion detection to light up a dark room so there’s no fumbling for the light switch.

Technology can be a fun way to keep seniors from getting bored. It can help them stay in touch with family and friends across the miles. It can even improve their mental and physical health. Some grandparents are finding new ways to stay in shape with motion-sensitive video games, like the Kinect for Xbox and the Wii Fit.

However technology can also keep elderly people safe. It can shut off a stove if it is left unattended for a certain length of time. These measures, along with proper in-home care, can extend the time that a senior adult can live in their own home. It may prevent the need to move into a nursing home altogether.

 

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