According to some statistics, seniors have steadily increased internet usage. From just 14 percent in the year 2000 to a whopping 73 percent in 2019, it’s clear that seniors are embracing technology as an important part of their lives. And as more seniors use technology, the technology itself is getting better. There are now more easy-to-use tech options than ever before that can increase safety for seniors and help them to live more independent and fulfilling lives.
Let’s take a look at some of this tech:
Cable subscriptions are expensive. Seniors can save a lot of money each month by using a streaming service to watch TV shows and movies, which means you will have extra money to put toward other helpful tech or something else that can improve your life. And with options like streaming media players, you can easily enjoy over 500,000 shows and movies from wherever you have an internet connection and a TV, computer, tablet or smartphone. Plus, you don’t have to deal with your cable company or a confusing set-up process, and you can consolidate your remotes.
Personal emergency response systems (PERS) allow seniors to engage in their favorite activities, despite the risks of falling. The Senior List explains these devices work alongside urgent response services so that you can enjoy your time at and away from home safely. The wireless devices are lightweight and mobile, so they can be worn comfortably. If there is an emergency situation, you simply press the button to connect with a response agent; the agent can then contact family members or send a nurse or ambulance, among other things.
Smart Home Tech
Smart home tech comes in many forms, such as:
Each of these electronic devices and similar options can be controlled with a smartphone, tablet or computer from wherever you are. All and all, smart home tech provides seniors with comfort, convenience and security, helping you to safely live a more independent lifestyle. Moreover, as Constellation notes, turning your home into a smart home can save you money on the energy bill.
A lot of electronic devices come with virtual assistants these days. For example, Apple products (e.g., iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.) come with “Siri”, and Amazon’s “Alexa” can be used on Amazon electronics and a wealth of other products. These assistants can help seniors to set medication reminders, make phone calls, listen to music, catch up on the news and perform many other tasks. And since the assistants speak intelligently and are friendly, it can also make you feel like someone is there with you.
Finally, there is a plethora of apps for smartphones and tablets that can prove helpful to seniors. Here are just a few examples:
- Find My iPhone — Helps you to track down your lost iPhone or iPad.
- EyeReader — Lights up and magnifies text (such as on a menu or book) to make reading easier.
- FaceTime or Skype — Helps you to keep up with friends and family through video chat.
- Senior Savings — Shows you which business establishments provide senior discounts.
- AARP Now — Keeps you posted on senior-related news, AARP discounts and local events.
If you’re a senior, this technology may be worth looking into. Streaming devices, emergency response systems, smart home tech, virtual assistants and the many useful apps are all easy to operate, and they all can be woven seamlessly into your everyday life. Overall, the right tech can help you to live your most independent and fulfilling life while also improving your safety.
By Andrea Needham, Guest Contributor
Photo Credit: Burst