As we continue to forge further into the Information Age, it’s sometimes easy to forget how recently the internet, and everything that uses it, came into being. Mass application of the internet, computers and user-friendly software only began to take off about 20 to 25 years ago.
An intriguing result is that kids today are often more tech savvy than their parents and grandparents. While the speed of technological growth can exacerbate the gap between family members, it also can help.
We see this with our clients and their loved ones as they ask us for ways to use technology to stay connected. Let us share a few tech tips that can help an aging adult and his or her family use technology to their benefit as they face aging challenges.
1. Staying in Touch. Computers, cell phones, social media, and other tech gadgets are great for staying in touch with family and friends. We might take it for granted, but a few minutes on Instagram or Facebook with elder parent might yield a lot of smiles and help lessen the feelings of isolation that can arise from the aging process.
2. Digital Books. Taking a Kindle or computer tablet to the doctor’s office to pass wait time might feel like a revolution to an older person. Why lug around heavy books or be left to choose from lobby magazines when the power of choice comes from downloading? Be sure to introduce the seniors in your life to audio books. Not only are they enjoyable, they often cost less than the price of paper book.
3. Adjustable Font. Fonts can be easily adjusted and text sizes can be enlarged at the touch of a button for those who need it. These seemingly small tech advancements can make a world of difference for those with diminishing eyesight.
4. Calls and Texts. Experiment with different ring tones and volume settings on smart phones to better help older family members and friends. There’s even Bluetooth hearing aids now that connect directly to mobile phones. Help them not only learn how to make a voice call but text as well.
5. Smart Phones. It’s amazing that tens of millions of Americans carry more computing power in their pockets than the NASA rocket that first landed on the moon. But elder Americans don’t have to be confused by smartphones. Newer ones have an “Easy Mode” to configure home screens with simple layouts and larger app icons.
6. Apps. Help a parent or grandparent by showing them how the right apps for them can improve their quality of life. For example, MediSafe is an app that helps remind people to take their prescription medications. Map My Walk is a health and fitness app that tracks walking steps and calories, and provides GPS location for the aging person, which greatly increases safety.
Do you need more tips? Do you have questions on how to support a senior loved one right now? Are you facing elder care challenges right now? Do not wait to contact our office and schedule an appointment so we may help you.