Staying Connected for Better Health
Thanks to advancements in technology, today’s senior has more opportunities than ever to stay healthy and active and be better connected with family and friends. Growing older in a high-tech world means you can communicate with loved ones faster and easier, track your health and fitness goals, and continue to enjoy your favorite activities, like reading and exploring your community, with ease.
Ready to get started? We’ve come up with some of the simplest and easiest tech solutions that can help you live life to the fullest and even offer senior caregivers and loved one’s peace of mind.
- E-Readers and Tablets. For most people, eyesight begins to worsen, albeit slightly, around the age of 40. As the lens of the eye starts to harden, it gets harder to read small text. The condition, called presbyopia, becomes more advanced with age. In addition, about half of all 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation in their eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- E-Readers including the Kindle and the NOOK, and tablets, make it easy for seniors to read thanks to the ability to use larger text and images. Seniors with mobility issues could benefit from using a tablet because it eliminates the need to type on a keyboard or control a mouse, thanks to its touchscreen technology.
- Video Chatting Platforms. It’s easy for seniors to stay connected with loved ones through Skype or Facetime. Both let you communicate by voice, video, or instant messaging quickly – either free of charge or for a small fee (if using Skype’s premium service). You can use these services on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
- Facetime, once only for Apple products, can now be downloaded on Android devices. Google Hangouts is swiftly becoming another popular free, easy-to-use video chatting alternative that works across all devices.
- Wearable Fitness Trackers.Staying active as a senior reaps a wealth of rewards, from keeping weight gain and obesity at bay, to lessening the risk of diseases including diabetes and even cancer. To monitor your fitness progress consider using a wearable fitness tracker like the FitBit. From measuring your daily steps to the quality of your sleep, the FitBit can keep your health goals on track.
- Medication Reminders. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the hospital costs associated with people forgetting to take medication as prescribed can be as much as $1 billion annually. For seniors, forgetting to take medication can have serious consequences.
- If you or a loved one is worried about remembering to taking medication as prescribed, consider using an electronic pill device like Med-eMonitor that combines a portable pill box and a docking station with a web-based connection to a drug database. Pre-loaded with pills, it has a large-font screen and beeps when it is time to take the medication.
- Apps including Pill Reminder by drugs.com and the Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder, are also simple, easy-to-use ways to remember when it’s time for you – or a loved one – to take their medication.
- Ride Sharing. If you or a loved one can no longer drive, consider using a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to get you around. Today, seniors and millennials are the fastest growing age taking advantage of ride shares. If the trend continues, we’re likely to see Uber-like services dedicated to serving only the senior rider. Lift Hero, for example, is a new ride-sharing platform currently offered in San Francisco that provides door-to-door service to medical appointments and other engagements.
- GPS Shoes. If your senior loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s, or age-related memory impairment and is prone to wandering, a shoe with a built-in GPS device can offer great peace of mind. The GPS Shoe features a tracking device in the heel and if the wearer wanders outside a designated area, the caregiver is alerted via email or text.