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Ways Digital Technology Can Benefit Our Seniors

Technology is ever-changing and our seniors have witnessed the greatest evolution of technology over the last century, with many innovations impacting all of us everyday. Some seniors, however, have not adapted to new technology and avoid the use of devices like smartphones and for some the internet is uncharted territory.

When it comes to the benefits of certain digital technology, seniors definitely have much to gain by using digital technology properly. Below are outlined a few ways technology can truly benefit our seniors, with a focus on safety, exercise, and social interactions.

Safety: Personal safety certainly tops the list as one of the biggest benefits of technology use for our seniors.

Having a cellphone, even one that is not a smartphone can be helpful in the event of an emergency. If not a smartphone, then consider having a personal emergency response system which allows a person to call for help in the case of an emergency. At the click of a button they can be connected with a responder who can find out their situation and get them help almost instantly.

In addition to emergency response systems, there are more advanced services that involve home health. Software technology can monitor patients 24/7 post-discharge through full recovery. For example, virtual care management softwares can work with a tablet or smartphone and help with monitoring biometrics, medication compliance, medical appointment reminders and telehealth visits. There are a variety of software options available and include companies like Welcome Home Health, Play-It Health and Clinicient.

Wearable technology such as a Fitbit or an Apple Watch is another option for a simple personal safety device that can give reminders about taking medications on time, attending important appointments, and even monitor physical activity.

Exercise: Technology can be helpful for both physical and mental well-being through exercise.

Wearable devices like the Fitbit or Apple Watch can help seniors keep track of their health through biometric feedback. Noticing inactivity, a wearable device can signal a person to get up, stretch, walk or move around. Physical activity, even in small doses, can improve well-being.

Mentally, technology can be a positive challenge for seniors. Of course, the first challenge might be to master the technology. But once that is accomplished, software applications on a device like an iPad can provide brain-stimulating games and opportunities to stay up-to-date with the news and current events.

Socially: As we age, our social network can begin to feel like it is dwindling. Staying in touch with extended family and old friends becomes a challenge. No one seems to live close anymore and distances between people might appear to complicate communication. But today’s technology can be a great way for seniors to feel closer to family and friends. For example, using an iPad or a smartphone for video calling, text messaging or posting on social media are all good ways to stay connected. Technology can make it possible to feel less alone.

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