Embracing technology can be intimidating for some, but in the case of seniors aging in place in the comfort of their own homes, it can be positive, helpful, and even life-changing.
Many tools of modern help seniors stay connected, safe, and thrive when living alone. From helping to keep in touch with family and friends to taking care of matters of the home, we’ve seen the impact that can be made and how modern tools of technology can make life easier. Here are a few of our favorites:
Today’s smartphones are user friendly and packed with features that are helpful to seniors living alone. Video calls help seniors stay connected to family, and the ease of being able to carry their phone around gives loved ones peace of mind that they can always be reached. Seniors or their family members can set alarms and reminders for things like taking medicine or notifications about appointments. Helpful adjustments can be made on each device for the user such as increasing the size of the text and making the screen appear brighter.
As technology has evolved and smartphones have become more and more easy to use, many seniors have embraced them as a primary way to stay connected.
2. Ipads and Tablets
Through using ipads and tablets, seniors are able to do a number of things to stay connected with the outside world while at the same time making life at home easier. Seniors can use ipads for:
- Checking on the news and weather
- Video and audio chats with family and friends
- Telehealth appointments
- Bill payments and finances
- Viewing and sending email
- Games that help with brain health and staying “sharp”
- Watching movies or shows
- Reading books and playing audio books
- And so much more.
The art and excitement of learning something new is proven to help seniors remain engaged and positive, and this is a fun way to provide that kind of challenge while giving seniors access to the world outside their door.
Daughter for Hire was so pleased to receive a grant in 2023 from The Genesis Group for the purchase of two ipads for use in the Mohawk Valley Region. We have been using these with our clients these last few months and it has been a great experience! The tablets have been effective in allowing our seniors to have fun, enjoy a new challenge, and stay connected. Our Care Companions have helped introduce this “easy” technology to our seniors and we assist them every step of the way in learning how to use it.
3. Amazon echo
A technology tool like the Amazon Echo that listens to and respondsto commands can offer a mix of convenience, safety, and entertainment. Seniors needing a reminder to take medication can simply say, “Alexa, remind me to take my pills at 8am.” They can also say commands like “Alexa, turn off the lights” or Alexa, turn down the thermostat” if the application has “smart-home” integrations. And for something a little more fun, seniors can give a simple command to the device to get it to play music, read audiobooks, or call loved ones through phone calls or video chats. This feature is perfect for seniors that have the ability to give audio commands, but may have trouble with their eyesight or fine print or using the phone. Entertainment on command like music or an playing an audiobook can make a big difference in the day of a senior living alone.
4. Wifi picture frame
Combat loneliness and isolation with visual reminders of pictures and videos from friends and family. When a senior sees smiling faces, happy memories are triggered and seeing pictures can provide a sense of warmth and connection. But the best thing about a wifi picture frame is the automatic updates. With wifi connected frames, family members can remotely add new photos or messages instantly and frequently right from an app on their phone. Seniors are delighted each time new photos appear in their frames. And wifi frames make a great gift idea for any occasion such as Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, a birthday, or Christmas.
At Daughter for Hire, we believe that the best technology is the one that brings us closer. That’s why we are an advocate for pairing the benefits of technology with the warmth of human connection. Aging in place isn’t just about living, it’s about thriving. And with a few technology tools and some support in using them, your senior can lead a more independent, fulfilling and joyful life.