Updated: Oct 2
The right technology can be easy to use and make life more fun!
In the rapidly changing digital age, technology is revolutionizing the way we live, work, and play. While it often seems tailored to the younger generation, its impact on the elderly cannot be understated. Technology has opened doors to improved healthcare, enhanced social connections, and increased independence for older adults. In this blog post, I review the role technology plays in promoting healthy aging and its benefits for older adults with some of my favorite tech gadgets!
1. Social Connectivity
Loneliness and social isolation can have detrimental effects on an individual's well-being, particularly among older adults. Technology allows older adults to connect with loved ones, friends, and even new acquaintances from around the world. Video calls, social media platforms, and messaging apps allow seniors to stay engaged and combat feelings of loneliness.
2. Smart Home Solutions
Smart home technology can greatly enhance the safety and comfort of older adults living independently. Devices such as smart thermostats, automated lighting, and voice-activated assistants like Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant can make daily tasks more manageable for seniors with mobility or cognitive challenges.
3. Medication Management
Medication adherence is a common concern among seniors, but technology offers solutions. Medication reminder apps can send alerts and notifications to ensure that seniors take their medications as prescribed. Some apps even allow for remote monitoring by family members or caregivers.
4. Transportation and Mobility
Getting around can be a challenge for older adults, especially those who are no longer able to drive. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft provide convenient transportation options. Additionally, mobility aids and devices like mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs have become more advanced and user-friendly, allowing older adults to maintain their independence.
See below for some of my favorite tech gadgets!
Tip #1 - Bluetooth Garage Door
A Bluetooth garage door opener is a game-changer for older adults looking to simplify their daily routines and enhance home security. This convenient technology allows you to control your garage doors effortlessly through a smartphone app or a paired Bluetooth device, such as a keychain remote. For older individuals with mobility or dexterity challenges, the ability to open and close their garage doors without getting in and out of their vehicles or struggling with traditional remotes is a significant relief. Moreover, the added layer of security ensures that you can control your garage door from anywhere or just check in to make sure it is closed. The Bluetooth garage door opener represents an accessible and user-friendly solution, empowering older adults to maintain their independence and security in their homes. Bluetooth garage door openers can be relatively inexpensive. You can install a new garage door with bluetooth capabilities or a smart garage door opener that works with your current garage door. Click here for a review of Bluetooth garage door openers.
Tip #2 - Bloothtooth Hearing Aids
Bluetooth hearing aids have transformed the way older adults experience and manage their hearing loss. These innovative devices easily connect to smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. With Bluetooth technology, you can stream phone calls, music, and even television audio directly into your hearing aids!! When connected to your cell phone, you can answer calls through your hearing aids. Adjusting settings, such as volume or hearing aid programs, can be done through a mobile app, allowing for personalized and real-time adjustments. Furthermore, Bluetooth hearing aids often provide GPS capabilities, helping locate misplaced hearing aids.
Bottom line: If you have hearing loss, the evidence so far indicates that getting hearing aids can improve your health in many ways including improving your mood and memory as well as reducing your fall risk.
One third are adults 65 and older are affected by disabeling hearing loss - World Health Organization
Tip #3 - Video Doorbell
Video doorbells have emerged as a valuable addition to the lives of all adults, offering enhanced security and peace of mind. These smart devices provide a live video feed of who is at the door, allowing you to visually verify visitors without having to physically open the door. This feature is helpful for those with mobility issues or concerns about safety. Video doorbells also enable remote communication with visitors through a smartphone app, making it easier for older adults to interact with delivery personnel, family members, or caregivers, even when they are not at home. With motion detection and recording capabilities, video doorbells can serve as an extra layer of surveillance, deterring potential intruders and providing valuable evidence in case of suspicious activity.
The most well-known video doorbell is the Ring doorbell, but there are several different types of video doorbells with different features. Check out this website that reviews the different video doorbells.
Tip #4 - Grandpad
Have you tried an iPad or other other type of tablet only to be frustrated? The Grandpad is a tablet that is designed to be simple to operate. I recently helped a client set up the Grandpad and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to set up and use. The Grandpad comes with a 1 800- customer support number that is operated in the United States (except during overnight hours when the calls are answered in Ireland). The customer support representative answered immediately (very little to no hold times) and walked us through the setup and some questions with the most patience I have ever experienced on a tech service call. The Grandpad also comes with a help button on the tablet that connects the user the the customer support. This is a great option if you are looking for something super easy with great customer support!
As we navigate the ever-evolving world of technology, it's important to recognize the invaluable role it plays in promoting healthy aging. From telehealth and cognitive fitness apps to social connectivity and smart home solutions, technology is transforming the lives of older adults in remarkable ways. Embracing these innovations can help you maintain your independence, improve your overall quality of life, and age gracefully in the digital age. If you are worried about your ability to use technology reach out to an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists (OTs) can help you feel confident using your chosen technology. Occupational therapists can also provide home assessments and recommend different types of technology that might improve your safety and ability to age in place.
Thank you for reading!!
Jenny Williams, OTD