Studies show that learning new skills at any age can lead to improved emotional and psychological health. For seniors, learning all the new technology available these days can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, these fears can be eliminated with a simple demonstration from your tech-savvy caregiver or grandchild, and the benefits of embracing new technology can far outweigh the reasons to ignore it.
Technological solutions can help keep you safe and healthy, as well as keep you connected with the people you care about. It’s now easier than ever to come together with your loved ones from the comfort of your own home. The use of technology is increasing for those 65 and older, and there are several benefits of technology for seniors that the different mediums provide.
The Benefits of Technology for Seniors
- Social Connection/Interaction – It’s been said that staying socially engaged is as important to healthy aging as maintaining a healthy body. While no technology can replace actual in-person interaction, staying connected through social media, email or video-chat services like Skype help supplement interaction when visits with friends or family is difficult. Being able to connect with loved ones in different geographical locations allows for socialization that might not otherwise be possible. Taking advantage of new technologies will enable you to have more “face time” with the people you care about.
- Health and Safety – Given that most seniors would prefer to live independently in their own homes, new forms of technology can make that possible. Sensors have been developed that can detect when you have fallen by measuring your sway, orientation and impact with surfaces. And no senior who lives alone should be without a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), which allows the wearer to call for help simply by pushing a button. There are also apps for your smartphone that can send refill reminders for prescriptions to reduce missed medications or errors in dosage.
- Physical and Mental Well-Being – Using a game console like Nintendo’s Wii system offers immense recreational and exercise benefits. It allows you to engage in light physical activity from the comfort of your own living room, and many assisted living facilities, such as those operated by American Senior Communities, offer them in their community rooms as well. Video games help get the mind and body moving and can offer the added benefit of social interaction when utilized in a group setting.
Along with these benefits, simply just searching on the internet can stimulate the brain. A recent study shows internet usage also can reduce symptoms of depression and can improve overall mental well-being. The rewards of being technologically savvy in your older years may require some patience and learning, but technology should not be feared by seniors. The rewards are well worth the effort you put into it.