With the tech-savvy baby boomer generation reaching its golden years, seniors are embracing technology now more than ever. From tracking important health data to providing endless entertainment, here’s a look at a few innovative gadgets that offer a world of benefits for older adults.
Tablets & Smartphones
Keeping in Contact
Apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype help seniors in a senior living community keep in touch with their loved ones. Whether it's scheduling a one-on-one video chat with the grandchildren or a virtual get-together with family and friends, these platforms can accommodate. Staying in contact is as easy as downloading an app. Many senior living communities will even offer your loved one the technical assistance they need to get up and running.
From e-books and podcasts to mobile games, tablets and smartphones help keep minds sharp and entertained. With the latest technology making screens as easy to read as ever, e-books and audiobooks are user-friendly options that offer your loved one a limitless library of titles. Speaking of limitless, there’s a podcast out there for every interest – no matter how obscure! Looking for some ideas? Check out Apple and Google’s podcast libraries to get you started. Also, senior-friendly games are great for keeping your loved one’s mind sharp and engaged. Check out this AARP list for a few fun options.
Record Life Stories
Looking to log your loved one’s memories and stories to preserve for generations to come? There are a number of user-friendly apps designed precisely for doing just that. MemoryWell is a storytelling platform that incorporates video, audio, and photos to create timelines that capture your loved one’s life story.
Aside from their everyday benefits – including receiving text messages and calendar alerts, tracking fitness data, and, well, telling time – smartwatches are a fantastic fit for older adults. Some, including the Apple Watch (series 5 or later), feature extras like fall detection. It also tracks health data and can be programmed with reminders for things like appointments or birthdays. The Samsung Galaxy Watch and watches from a variety of other manufacturers, including Garmin, are also solid options.
Fitbit & Other Fitness Trackers
Track heart rate, oxygen levels, and steps with fitness trackers like the Fitbit. Some can call for assistance with the press of a button, while others can even help facilitate requests from residents to staff.
Telemedicine is a convenient option for seniors with mobility issues for whom leaving a senior living community is difficult – and it’s a virtual practice doctors are turning to more in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. It works like this: Instead of making a traditional, in-person visit to the doctor, visits are handled via video conferencing. It’s a great substitute for in-person care, particularly for nonemergency visits. Here’s a primer on the practice.
Looking for more senior living tips? Check out the Milestone Retirement Communities blog.