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Understanding Technology Use and the Elderly

Understanding Technology Use and the Elderly

January 14, 2019

Elderly and Technology Use

With the growing digital age, the number of elderly people using new technology has significantly increased. According to Pew Research, 6 in 10 seniors, or about 59% now go online. Consequently, there are many ways in which seniors lives are being enriched through increased technology use.

A few of those enriching factors are:

1. Increased Socialization

One of the biggest effects of technology growth has been an increase in socialization among people. People from across the world can connect and communicate on a daily basis. Hence, what this means for the elderly is a way to keep in touch with friends and family no matter where they are. This is increasingly important, as concerns for the elderly include decreased social circles and socialization. It’s a great way to keep in contact with family that doesn’t live close by. These increased social interactions mean a world of a difference as one ages.

2. Connecting the Past with the Present

Technology has shown to help us preserve the past. One example of this is through music. Many old songs that our elderly parents listened to are found online. With smartphones and music apps, our elderly loved ones can be connected to their favorite old songs with the click of a button. This presents an opportunity for older generations to introduce music and media they enjoyed to younger generations. And it doesn’t end with just music. They can see old pictures of places they had been to or document stories of their past.

3. Increased Outside Awareness and Mental Stimulation

Most news and current event updates have shifted to digital platforms. The difference in news being online means greater access to differing viewpoints. Therefore, it means the elderly and technology use is increasing the potential for learning and growing as they get older.

Innovative Products for Elderly

With increased technology, comes a niche of products specifically for the elderly. There are many products being developed to help us as we age. Some of the ways that technology is being developed for the elderly include:

1. Health and Wellness Apps

While not all health tracking apps are for seniors, there are many that are. There are apps that allow users to track their medication use or create medication reminders. Other apps include the ability to make reminders for doctors appointments. There are even apps that are meant for mental stimulation. These apps include brain games and puzzles. Find out about the importance of mental stimulation as one grows older.

2. GPS Services and Safety Services

Technology for the elderly includes devices like GPS trackers. This could be on phones and on other devices. As a result, it brings peace of mind to the family members of seniors that may be in the early or later phases of any illness that causes memory loss or confusion.

Other devices include things like cameras for monitoring. So, it will bring both your senior loved one and family members ease when they have the ability to see what’s going on, especially when they are living alone. And finally, there are even devices created to help alert you in the case that a senior needs help.

Issues Seniors have with Adapting to New Technology

Many of us recognize the positive aspects of growing technology, especially for seniors. But,  sometimes the elderly and technology don’t always go together. While there are innovations meant to make seniors lives easier, it can be hard to convince them of such. Certainly, many of us know an elderly loved one that takes to the use of technology with skepticism. As a result, those seniors don’t see the potential ways in which technology can better their lives. The best way to combat with is with patience. But, no one has to make a huge shift with technology if they don’t want to. It’s crucial to allow your loved one to decide that they feel it is right to use and adapt to new technology when they are ready.

Others may just have trouble adapting to new technology. While younger generations have grown up with the ability to constantly use technology, many older generations have not. Hence, that can make it harder to be comfortable with technology use. Oftentimes, there is even embarrassment met with the lack of proficiency in technology. Consequently, this is why it is important to talk to your loved one about the benefits of technology and taking care when they are willing to learn. When they feel at ease they will be more likely to view the positive of change with technology.

How Do Home Care and Technology Overlap?

Technology for the elderly is meant to better the lives of our senior loved ones. Home care is meant to do the same. Both are created to be additions to the lives of the elderly to help them live confidently and independently.  To find out more about Homecare Powered by AUAF give us a call at 773.274.9262. Or take a look at the types of elderly services we offer.

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