Many people over the age of 65 spent much of their lives without a computer. They most certainly didn't have technology classes in grade school much less owning a cell phone for constant accessibility, so learning how to connect in a virtual world can be a bit intimidating if they're just now starting to think about it.
The benefits of personally using technology range from entertainment and basic connection with friends and family to finding help in an emergency.
More and more seniors are using the internet and own cell phones, but there are many other devices and gadgets that have the ability to engage seniors and help keep them connected to family and mentally active in the safety of their home environment. The following are three ways that technology can help seniors stay connected to their loved ones even as they move into their twilight years.
Sometimes as one ages, hearing loss is part of that world. Thankfully, there have been technological advances that specifically help overcome those disadvantages. One, specifically, being a Bluetooth. Family members have often stopped calling a loved one simply because they are unable to hear the conversation over the phone, but a Bluetooth is something inserted in the ear and amplifies sound mimicking the role of a hearing aid. Trying different ways to communicate with family members who live far away is not out of reach any longer.
Many seniors who live apart from their grandchildren miss talking with them face to face and seeing them grow and mature over time. Skype, a software you can download onto any internet-using computer, allows people to talk through the computer and see their family in real time over the screen. This social interaction is invaluable to those who can't visit in person. Skype can also be downloaded onto tablets and smartphones and the service is free.
Tablets & iPads
These gadgets have become popular among the younger crowd because of the games and music they can play and listen to. But they shouldn't be limited to the young. These devices can have so many things loaded onto them, from programs for learning languages, listening to your favorite music and even your family's photos and books. They are a lightweight option for heavy duty well-being. The older generation can use them for tracking their own health and fitness regimes and the type can be altered to allow for easier reading. The options are limitless.
We have explored three options on how technology can directly effect the lives of seniors living apart from family. This not only helps with their social interactions and keeping them connected to their loved ones but can also assist them in their physical and mental health as well.
Many times, the older generation has shown a resistance to owning and using newer technology because it's foreign and seems complicated; but encouraging them to think of the many benefits like seeing their family over a computer screen and staying in daily contact through e-mail and texting or even staying updated on daily activities of their grandchildren on Facebook can be the encouragement they need to get started.
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