Staying Connected: How Technology Can Transform Your Retirement
Advances in technology may seem hard to keep up with, but you don’t have to be a teenager to take advantage of the latest developments.
Seniors are becoming more tech savvy as they realize what a huge advantage electronic devices offer in their day-to-day life. Staying connected with family and friends, remaining safe at home, enjoying many different types of entertainment, and supporting healthy aging are all easier and more fun when older adults have easy access to technology.
Seniors Are More Connected Than Ever
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, highly educated and more affluent seniors use technology at the same rate as younger adults.
About 40% of seniors own smartphones and 80% own cell phones. People between the ages of 65 and 69 are more likely to own a cell phone; in fact, 95% of them have adopted the technology.
Smartphone use is less among seniors 80 and older. Only 17% of this group use smartphones.
In a similar study conducted in the year 2000, only 14% of seniors used the Internet. That rate is now 67%, and it continues to climb. About half of seniors indicate they have high-speed Internet service at home.
Staying engaged, in touch with others, mentally active, and physically safe is easier than ever with technological advancements that help seniors navigate day-to-day life.
Seniors can keep in touch with their family members who live far away with Skype video chats. This service also has a free platform, so communicating doesn’t pull money out of a limited budget.
Social media lets older adults stay up-to-date on the latest life events of family and friends at their leisure. Photo sharing sites like Facebook and Instagram are great for keeping in touch.
Having access to high-speed internet is an important factor to utilize some of the technology mentioned above. SALMON Health and Retirement offers high-speed Internet service in all of our residences. We understand the importance of staying connected.
Maintaining Good Health With Apps
Not all technology is for entertainment. Keeping track of health statistics like daily blood pressure readings and tracking blood sugar levels is simple with some of the newest smartphone apps.
Doctors can monitor heart activity, check their patients’ recorded stats, and even communicate quickly and easily via chat when seniors agree to participate in some of the latest technological advances with an innovative smartphone and computer use.
Keeping track of medication dosages that seem to be always changing is much easier when the person has direct 24/7 access to written doctor’s instructions online. Accessing personal health information once required a phone call during business hours, but with new advances in online security, seniors who want to double-check the doctor’s orders can do so at their convenience.
Technology offers a healthy dose of movement when used as a tool to aid exercise. Many video game platforms like Nintendo’s Wii provide a way to physically play a game without leaving the comfort and safety of home.
Seniors who love golf but can’t play year-round may enjoy a round of video golf (an example of this is the full swing golf simulator at The Willows at Worcester – contact us at 508-755-0088 to visit and hit a round!). A quick 20-minute yoga class is available at the touch of a button with YouTube videos and exercise apps on your phone or tablet.
Video games like Tetris and Trivial Pursuit provide entertainment and mental stimulation. Mahjong promotes matching and memory. These games are fun to play alone or in a group, so there’s great potential for social interaction, as well.
Staying Independent With Technology
Technology helps seniors stay in touch with family and friends and makes them feel connected to the people who they interact with day-to-day, even when illness or inclement weather keeps them at home.
A PERS (Personal Emergency Response System) can help seniors, their families, and caregivers feel safer. The wearer can call for help in an emergency by pushing the button attached to a lanyard they wear around their neck. Some of these devices also have GPS embedded, so seniors experiencing the early stages of dementia can remain independent, even if they are prone to getting turned around when they are out and about.
SALMON Health and Retirement is continually evaluating and making improvements to our technologies to help entertain and meet the varying needs of older adults. To learn more about our highly-trained staff, innovative setup, and how we use technology every day to enrich the lives of our community members, please contact us.