People often joke about how much easier it is for children to embrace technology than their parents, and there’s probably a bit of truth to those tales. After all, children don’t tend to worry about hitting a wrong button, and many young people seem to have an uncanny sense of what they need to do with a gadget in order to accomplish their goal. However, technology isn’t just for the young. It holds promise for people of all ages. While older adults sometimes resist using new advances, the benefits of technology for seniors are numerous.
Benefits of Technology for Seniors
Technology can be intimidating, frustrating, and intrusive. It can also open doors, support intellectual curiosity, provide increased safety, offer assistance, and simply be fun. Ultimately, it’s all in how you use it. Let’s explore the many benefits of technology for seniors.
Making Social Connections
There are countless technologies that help people connect with family, friends, and people with common interests. Seniors can use video chat services like Skype to see their grandchildren grow up when distance might otherwise make that impossible. Email will feel familiar to those who enjoy writing letters or cards, but it has the advantage of instant delivery. Social media options like Facebook and Twitter help people share thoughts, pictures, and news with just a few clicks.
Providing Mental Stimulation
Study after study suggests that learning new things and participating in activities that challenge the brain both offer some protection from dementia. Simply learning to use a new technology provides mental stimulation, and once someone has mastered a technology, they can often use it to find new challenges. Video games can provide hours of mental exercise, and the Internet delivers plenty of opportunities to explore new topics and delve deeper into areas of interest.
Have you ever had your vehicle break down on the side of the road? If so, you know firsthand that technology can increase safety by improving a person’s access to help. For some seniors, that might mean a cell phone that they carry with them on their travels. For others, especially those who live alone, it might mean a personal emergency response system (also known as a medical alert system) that allows people in trouble to request assistance from emergency responders with the push of a button.
How does technology encourage exercise? Many video games today prompt players to get out of their seats and use their whole bodies. For those who want something less competitive, the Internet offers access to a multitude of videos demonstrating an amazing array of exercise routines.
Helping with Health Care
Today’s tech can also make health care easier. Cell phone apps are available that offer seniors audible reminders to take their medications, reducing the chance for missed doses. In addition, many doctors and hospitals now have online programs that provide a place to keep up-to-date medication lists and health histories and offer easy access to test results. Using these programs lets seniors and their families keep needed health information at their fingertips.
Whether you like to socialize, enjoy challenging games, or thrive on learning something new, technology can help you do it. It offers fun at your fingertips and a world of possibilities. So if you’re bored and looking for something fun to do, explore your online options.
Learning to use technology can open doors and provide significant benefits for people of all ages, including seniors. Seniors who want to discover how to utilize new technology can often find classes at libraries, community colleges, and senior centers. You can also find tutorials online or ask a family member (such as a grandchild) for help. No matter how you learn about it, never underestimate the benefits of technology for seniors.