For older people, the new and rapidly developing world of modern technology may seem daunting and downright incomprehensible at times – full of tech jargon, abbreviations and confusing machinery. But in fact the internet and social media sites in particular can be incredibly beneficial for pensioners, particularly those who are confined to their homes due to illness or physical or mental disability.
Here are some of the ways in which modern technology can improve the day-to-day lives of seniors and their families.
Keeping in touch
The most obvious benefit of social networking sites and handy programs such as Skype or WhatsApp is that elderly people can now have more effective and regular communication with family members. If you live in a retirement community or have relatives who have moved overseas you can keep in touch with ease via email and frequent conversations via Skype, not to mention trading photographs and instant updates on Facebook or Twitter.
With these online networking sites you can also find out how your grandson is doing at university in America, read your daughter’s blogs on life down under and trade recipes or gossip with your sister on the other side of the country – and all for free, saving you the cost of stamps or a long distance phone call.
If you are living in a McCarthy&Stone retirement apartment, take advantage of their social network pages. Check out McCarthy & Stone on Facebook and get the latest updates while connecting with other seniors enjoying life in the company’s comfortable retirement apartments.
Connect and share
Once you have become tech-savvy there is no limit to what you can do. Now elderly people can connect with other seniors who share similar interests on online forums, Facebook groups or chat rooms.
If you are so inclined, you can even start your own blog, sharing your life experiences, accrued wisdom, gardening tips or insights on politics and the world at large.
If you have always wanted to learn Russian, do a degree in Oriental Studies or perhaps enrol on a business course – now is your chance! Seniors can enrol on all kinds of online or long distance courses.
This can be particularly helpful for those with physical disabilities who cannot get out and about very easily and will help not only the affected person but also their family as they know their loved one is embarking on an exciting project.
Medication management and health tracking
Family members who are concerned about their elderly relative’s health can now install smartphone apps which helps their loved one keep track of which medications they need to take and when – not to mention special ‘health tracking’ apps which serve a variety of purposes including storing information such as medical histories, health conditions and medical contacts.
There is also GPS technology which is particularly useful for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease who might go wandering and get lost.