Technology definitely isn’t just for young people anymore. People of all ages, including seniors, are chatting on smartphones, asking their smart speakers about the weather, and downloading books onto e-readers. And certainly, stroke survivors whose mobility is challenged could find a good use for technology, particularly the simpler kind.
Do you have a senior loved one who is interested in getting online and staying connected? What about a parent or grandparent who you wish you could video chat with? If you want to help them choose the right devices, you’ll have plenty to pick from these days. Here are a few user-friendly devices that seniors can use to keep in touch with friends and family, manage their to-do lists, and more.
Seniors aren’t stuck with flip phones – many of them enjoy using smartphones. Yes, they grew up during a time when the idea of having a minicomputer in your pocket always would have seemed absurd, but now, lots of seniors like the convenience of owning a smartphone. They can download helpful apps, use the large text setting for ease of reading, and regularly talk with their loved ones who live far away.
Seniors who talk on the phone often should make sure that their phone plans offer enough data, calls, and texts – no one wants to get a bill with expensive overage charges! They might qualify for special wireless plans for seniors that offer discounts, which can help them save.
While your senior loved one may need a little help setting up a smart speaker in their home, there are few gadgets that are easier for seniors to use. Smart speakers are controlled almost entirely with voice commands – when you want it to do something, all you must do is ask, and your request is granted.
Whether you want your smart speaker to play your favorite song, tell you the time, or check the temperature outside, just speak up, and you’ll have an immediate response. It’s very intuitive, and many seniors like feeling as though they have a digital assistant helping around the house.
Tablets are a great choice for seniors – they’re light and portable, with touch screens that are bright and easy to use. Tablets can be used to browse the Internet, look at family photos, play games, or watch movies. Yes, it’s smart to set healthy limits around screen time, no matter your age, but tablets are genuinely useful devices that can benefit seniors.
Tablets are also convenient for video chatting, and for many seniors, getting to see the faces of their family and friends is even better than a phone call. In fact, having a tablet for video chatting could be good for your mental health: Science Daily reported that seniors who regularly video chatted with their loved ones were much less likely to experience depression.
According to Seniors Lifestyle Mag, reading brings a myriad of benefits for seniors, including enhancing your memory, reducing stress, and even boosting your decision-making skills. Seniors who love reading might like having an e-reader in addition to physical books.
Downloading books on an e-reader can be much cheaper than buying new books, and you can even download free books through your local library system. For seniors who can easily read a book or two each week, traveling with an e-reader is much less cumbersome than packing several books. They can also read books with enlarged text and zoom in on images and figures in the book. This is a nice perk for seniors who struggle to read the small print.
It’s easy to assume that seniors can’t be tech-savvy, but that’s not necessarily true. Today, plenty of seniors are enthusiastic about learning how to use technology. With a little help from their loved ones, many seniors will enjoy picking up new skills and using technology to chat with their relatives, watch their favorite TV shows, or read their favorite newspapers.
Get Your Grandchildren Involved
And a particular fun and constructive thing to do if you have grandchildren – enlist them to tutor you with the how-to’s of your chosen technology. It’s great for bonding, and the children, depending on their age come away with a wonderful feeling of importance.
And if you don’t have grandchildren you might make inquiries of a local school to see if they can refer a student to help you. Many school systems have programs where the students must perform community service to graduate, so perhaps they can assist you.
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Andrea created EldersDay.org to remind everyone that getting older isn’t synonymous with slowing down. Everyone has their own pace, but age shouldn’t be what stops you from fulfilling dreams, goals, and desires.