Do you remember a simpler time when we didn’t rely on technology in the way we do today? While you may long for those days, it’s clear. Technology is here to stay. It is seemingly inescapable… regulating our homes and security through connected, IoT appliances (Internet of Things), connecting us to the outside world via smartphones, email, social media, Skype and connecting the outside world to us via Peapod, Amazon, Uber and similar services that are making life simpler and more manageable.
According to Pew Research Center, four-in-ten seniors now own a smartphone, more than double the share that did in 2013. Seniors are embracing technology, even if their adoption is at a slower rate than the rest of the population.
By learning and embracing technology, you have a great opportunity to learn a new skill that will bring you closer to the world around you while fostering an independent, positive attitude!
5 Common Challenges Facing Seniors That Can Be Solved By Technology
CHALLENGE: You feel isolated.
TECH SOLUTION: There are so many tools to engage and stay connected with your friends, colleagues and family members. Love to write? Send an email. Just a quick note that you are thinking of them? Send a text. Want to see what your grandchildren are up to? Check out their social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Want a visit but they live out of state? Hop on Skype. The really amazing part of technology is that you can contact your loved ones in a variety of ways and get a very quick response…instant gratification!
CHALLENGE: You don’t drive.
TECH SOLUTION: Losing your ability to drive can be devastating to your independence and overall mindset, especially if you live alone. But if you own a smartphone or a computer, you have a wealth of life-simplifying services at your fingertips! How will you get to your weekly lunch with your friends? Call an Uber. How will you shop for groceries? Peapod delivers right to your door!
CHALLENGE: Fear. What will you do in case of emergency?
TECH SOLUTION: Fear can prevent us from trying new things…stepping out of our comfort zone. Or maybe it’s the fear of something happening while you are by yourself. Fear that you’ll get hurt or lost or confused. With your smartphone, your emergency contacts (or a direct call to 911) are one touch away. It won’t prevent falls or accidents or emergencies but if they happen, you have a lifeline, within arms reach.
CHALLENGE: You are not getting enough exercise.
TECH SOLUTION: There’s an app for that! Whether or you interested in yoga or core exercises or meditation or even cardio or strength training, there are a plethora of exercise apps, for all skill levels and interests. Find your favorite or try a variety of different exercises and workouts.
CHALLENGE: You are forgetful.
TECH SOLUTION: Reminders, with audible alerts…make an appointment, set a reminder so you can remember to take your medication when you are supposed to, birthday reminders, doctor’s appointments…just putting it in your book or writing a note won’t always do the trick…but the alarm alert. Schedule it with you reminder. “What is that sound?” That will keep you organized.
Technology can be overwhelming, regardless of your age! But if you embrace it and find ways to use it that make your life easier, relieve stress, connect you to your loved ones and the world around you, it can make all the difference when it comes to quality of life. Give it a try!
Beverly Bernstein Joie is the founder and president of Complete Care Strategies, a senior care management company serving Philadelphia and its surrounding communities. A Certified Aging Life Care Manager with more than 20 years of experience, Beverly has worked in senior care since 1994, both in assisted living communities and in private practice. She is a member of the Aging Life Care Association and was a former president of the Philadelphia Chapter.
Complete Care Strategies consists of care managers, specialized human service professionals, who advocate and direct the care of seniors and others facing ongoing health challenges. Working with families, its expertise provides the answers at a time of uncertainty. Along with its licensed home care division, it can help clients safely remain at home under the watchful eye of skilled professionals. Families are afforded an integrated model of care that with guidance and advocacy, lead them to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love.