Cool Technology for Seniors

Cool Technology for SeniorsCool Technology for Seniors

Seniors aren’t often thought of as big adopters of technology, but that perception may start to change as more tech companies bring items to market that are designed with seniors and their needs in mind. Technology can provide some convenient uses that help solve many of the problems seniors face as they age.

Here are a few neat options worth checking out.

  1. Cell Phones for Seniors

Cell phones aren’t just a convenient way to get in touch, they can make seniors safer. No one wants to get stranded on the side of the road or lost without a cell phone. As long as a senior has one, they can easily get in touch with loved ones anytime there’s a problem.

Recognizing the issues that have made seniors less likely to use cell phones, such as complicated navigation or difficulty typing with small keys and tiny font, several cell phone companies have released cell phones designed to solve these problems and be easy for any senior to figure out and use without problem.

  1. Grandpad

Grandpad does for the tablet what the various cell phones made for seniors do for the phone. It’s designed specifically with the needs of seniors in mind and caters to the primary uses a senior is most likely to want a tablet for. It’s easy to figure out, loaded with apps that make staying in touch with family easier, and the company offers support staff for anytime a senior gets confused about how it works.

  1. Health Wearables

Mainstream health care wearables like the FitBit can help encourage seniors to be more active and track their habits, but there are also a number of wearables designed specifically for seniors. Lively makes wearables that are easy for seniors to keep on them at all times that both track activity and make it easy to alert loved ones or authorities in the case of an emergency.

WiseWear recently added a more stylish wearable to the list of options for seniors who want the benefit of fitness tracking and safety features, but want to be sure and look good at the same time.

  1. GPS Technology

One of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s is a tendency to wander, which can be scary! A senior that’s lost and doesn’t remember where they’re supposed to get back to is in a sticky situation until their family members or assisted living staff can track them down. Companies like Safe Link and GPS SmartSole make GPS products that seniors can easily wear or carry so that loved ones can quickly find them if they ever get lost.

  1. Home Monitoring Services

Home monitoring services like those provided by Alarm.com not only make it easy for loved ones and the proper authorities to be alerted if a senior is injured or has a health emergency, but they can also track every day things like how much sleep a senior’s getting and whether or not they’re being reasonably active.

For seniors who want to age in place, home monitoring services can provide loved ones with the peace of mind of knowing that the senior’s safe staying home alone, and be alerted if the point comes where they’re not safe anymore without help.

  1. Medication Dispensers

Aging tends to cause a number of health issues that require medication, while also inconveniently causing memory issues. Forgetting your medication, or taking your pills at the wrong time, can have serious consequences for seniors.

Good thing then that technology can make sure seniors stay on top on taking their meds at just the time they’re supposed to. Automatic medication dispensers like Livi can be programmed to provide an alert when it’s time to take a pill and dispense the appropriate one at that time.

Seniors can more easily stay on top of what they’re supposed to take when, and caregivers will be alerted if a senior misses a dose.

  1. Amazon Echo

For anyone who found typing on a computer to be inconvenient or difficult for any reason – Echo takes the need away. Ask a question out loud and you get an answer. If you have a hard time keeping up with the remote, no problem, tell Echo what you want to watch and the show or movie will start.

For all the little pesky things that seniors probably can deal with, but don’t want to have to, Echo can be used to save time, trouble, and inconvenience. It can be hooked up to various systems within the home so seniors can turn down the thermostat or turn off a light without ever leaving bed.

A senior might not need an Amazon Echo, but they’ll sure appreciate how much easier it makes all the little things in life once they have it.

  1. Wii Fit

Every senior knows that exercise is important, but the idea of getting out to the gym regularly can be a pain – especially when the day comes that driving is no longer an option. Wii Fit makes it possible to keep up an exercise routine without ever having to leave the house. There’s some variety in the exercise options you have and many of them are designed to be fun, so being healthy doesn’t have to feel like a chore anymore.

  1. E-readers

How many seniors look forward to reading all those books they never had time for over the years once they retire, only to realize their failing eyesight makes reading difficult. E-readers solve that problem by letting the reader choose the font size.

Seniors can easily buy pretty much any book they might want, set their preferences for font size, and zoom in or highlight things as needed. And they’ll never have to worry about having to lug around a heavy book again, e-readers are all light and easy to take on the go.

  1. Grocery Services

Basic errands can start to become difficult for seniors when they start having mobility issues or reach the point where driving is no longer safe. In the past, this was a serious inconvenience, but now there are a number of services that make it easy to skip one of the most necessary errands: going to the grocery store.

Grocery delivery sites like FreshDirect and Instacart let you pick all the items you need and have someone bring them straight to your home. Businesses like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh simplify things even further by creating healthy recipes and delivering everything you need to cook those recipes for a week.

The ability to skip dealing with the grocery store removes one of the biggest hurdles of aging in place. And all of the websites are fairly intuitive so seniors shouldn’t have a hard time making use of them.

 

Some seniors may still feel resistant to types of technology they find difficult and foreign, but the more they encounter technology that’s easy to figure out that makes their lives better, the more they’ll come around to it. If there’s a senior in your life facing any of the challenges these technologies help solve, then there’s no good reason not to help them realize the solution.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

1 Comment

  1. Glen Goldsmith April 17, 2017 Reply

    The grandPad, listed in this post has been great for our family! My wife and I did quite a bit of research and just got a grandPad tablet (www.grandpad.net). The tablet was designed just for seniors, primarily for them to be able to connect with their loved ones safely and it has changed my in-laws lives almost overnight. It is a remarkable service that comes with 24 hour support and is very simple to use. They don’t have to worry about passwords or many different fees from different providers. It’s a one stop package deal. The day their tablet arrived, my father-in-law was able to do a video chat with his son in Europe and it was the 1st time he had seen him “live” in over 4 years! Neither of my in-laws are very tech savvy, so the grandPad is a perfect way for them to email people, listen to music, do memory games, etc. We can all communicate with them frequently and send them real-time photos of what is happening in our lives. When we are traveling or find something we think they would like (old trains, unique fashions, etc.) we snap a picture and send it to them. If we are not available to visit them, we can have a video call and it’s like being right in the same room. We can’t say enough great things about this product!

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