It’s easy to think that only newer generations can take advantage of technological advancements. After all, most new tech is made with the youth in mind, right? Not quite.
There actually is tech made specifically with older users in mind. A feature to optimize tech by the APA explains how tech developers work hand-in-hand with psychologists and experts in aging, cognitive psychology, and neuropsychology. This has led to an increase in accessible technology that has particularly helped older adults stay connected during the Covid-19 pandemic.
With thorough research and preparation, technology is simply another opportunity for older adults to age gracefully. So without further ado, let’s have a look at some tips for doing just that.
Take advantage of new technology
What are some of the best new technologies devised for older adults? Besides the Internet — which was being used by 21% of over-75s in 2020 with a social media account — or bigger screens, a support system in real life can also be used to accommodate the frailties of old age.
A Wirecutter column on smart homes discusses how smart home devices can include small sensors to assist lighting, discreet cameras for security and communication, smoke alarms, and voice-activated speakers. For an older adult who may choose to live independently, these gadgets can make everyday life safer and more convenient.
Explore virtual care options
Besides convenience, advancements in technology have also strengthened accessibility to the basic necessities such as healthcare. A guide to telehealth software solutions by Wheel outlines the different disease management tools to clinical documentation that allow clinicians to connect with their patients at any hour of the day.
This is especially helpful to seniors who want to benefit from the extra care without having to commute to a clinic. It’s thus no surprise that telehealth use increased by over 8,000% during the pandemic.
Despite the advantages, some medical practices are hesitant to invest in telemedicine technology platforms because of the lack of support from the government and private health plans. An article on telemedicine trends on Stat thus cautions that current payment policies, medical practice, and technologies must adjust should we solidify telehealth’s role in society.
Take fitness into your own hands
How else can older adults maintain their physical health? Exercise. Advancements in technology have also made fitness more attainable by all ages in every location. Free applications to track your food intake, draft workout routines, and map popular walking routes are easily downloadable on every phone or tablet.
Our list on Apps for Fitness and Health introduces five fitness applications that have been recommended by experts. Older adults may want to look into Sworkit, short for “Simple Work It”, that allows you to customize your own workout based on any special needs or limitations. Otherwise, Pocket Yoga is another popular option that caters to all ages and skill levels interested in becoming yogis.
Yoga is a great way to develop mindfulness, or the practice of being in the present moment with acceptance. For seniors especially, mindfulness via an exercise and active approach can improve cognitive health.
Mindfulness activities can range from mindful walking, praying, reading, and even music or dance — all of which can be assisted with mindfulness apps on mobile phones. Research on mindful aging published by Springer found that beyond cognitive health, perspective-taking and lateral thinking has also increased among seniors participating in mindfulness exercises using technology.
A positive experience of the app intervention was observed for most participants, which only highlights the great potential for positive outcomes in older adults via better integration between technology and psychology.
Aging is a natural and beautiful process. With technology, seniors can continue to maintain and even increase the quality of their life, and age more gracefully in their twilight years.
Written by: Riley James
Email address: email@example.com
About the author:
Riley is a Miami-based health instructor and blogger who dedicates her time to research about the latest health trends. She is passionate about finding ways to promote fitness and activities more accessible for everyone. In her spare time, she volunteers at her local home for the aged and hosts fitness workshops for free.