While baby boomers often complain about the hassles of technology, they also revel in the benefits. Few seniors would readily relinquish their remote control or smartphone without putting up a fight.
1. Technology Helps Seniors Stay Safe
Few things are more important to boomers than personal safety. This includes everything from health monitoring to home security.
Personal health monitoring gadgets are very popular. Athletes wear them to track their heart rate and blood pressure while seniors may use these devices to measure sleep patterns. These health monitors are also capable of sending alerts to loved ones when health concerns arise with the seniors in their life, signaled by troublesome readings.
We are all familiar with the phrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” This popular medical ad markets an alarm that makes it easy for older adults living alone to simply press a button if they fall and need help.
Finally, wireless security systems can be programmed to contact family members if a loved one’s home isn’t secure. Monitored doors or windows left unlocked at a certain time of night warn caregivers of potential safety hazards. This is an especially practical tool that can be used by family members who might be across the country traveling or who live far away.
2. Technology Helps Seniors Stay Socially Connected
The Pandemic highlighted the importance of social media and technology as a way to connect with friends and family when in-person contact is impractical. Being able to Skype with family members and actually see their faces can bridge a big gap when it is impossible to travel to spend time together.
Sharing photos online helps bring the family together. As an inexpensive way to socialize, few people can argue with the benefits of technology when it brings family members and friends closer together.
Since one of the biggest challenges seniors face is loneliness, technology has provided multiple answers for people who are otherwise unable or unlikely to socialize outside of the home due to logistics or health reasons. Let’s face it. There is a Facebook group for every hobby or interest. Many new relationships begin online these days.
3. Technology Makes Aging in Place a More Viable Option
GlobeNewswire reports that about 90% of seniors say they want to age in place. While this desire is understandable, the likelihood of being mentally and physically healthy enough to actually stay at home instead of entering a facility into later years has increased dramatically due to the many technological advancements of the past few years.
One of the most important tasks that often pose problems for seniors is taking medication consistently and on time. Health-monitoring systems like the MediSafe Project facilitate monitoring and managing the health of patients from a remote locale. Much like a doting caregiver or nurse, smartphones notify patients to take their prescribed meds. In cases where the patient doesn’t verify that they have taken their medication, caregivers will be contacted.
Many other gadgets are also available to safeguard the health of seniors. Apps are very popular and used by many boomers intent on tracking their vitals. There are heartbeat trackers, fall detection devices, and smartwatches that provide updates and reminders related to health updates on a regular basis.
Additionally, staying in the family home also requires ongoing maintenance of the home itself to ensure a clean and safe environment. With many of the cool gadgets and smartphone apps designed to help out around the house, taking care of the home is much easier than ever before. House-cleaning robots are getting a lot of attention as seniors and caregivers look for ways to make housekeeping chores a bit less tedious.
4. Online Shopping And Delivery Apps Make it Convenient to Order Anything And Have it Delivered.
Boomers are in the unique position of being able to have anything they need to be delivered to their homes. Driving is now optional. Calling an Uber or Lyft to run errands or for transportation to a social event is a reality for anyone who either can’t drive or doesn’t want to drive. Unlike their parents, seniors today can order their groceries, prescription drugs, restaurant meals, and any other supplies they need.
Activities that once made living independently practically impossible when driving became too dangerous for seniors are now manageable because of technological advancements and new industries.
5. Telehealth Makes it Possible to Get Medical Help Remotely.
Medical monitoring devices aren’t the only way that medical care has become more accessible for homebound seniors. Telehealth has been around for over a decade and became increasingly popular as a practical strategy for delivering medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth is defined as virtual care administered via advanced communication and exams from a distance.
What makes telehealth so helpful for seniors is that it results in a reduction in ER visits and doctor’s appointments. Physicians and nurses communicate directly with patients via technology designed to diagnose and treat them remotely.
By 2020, most healthcare providers and hospitals already offered telehealth services. The emergency presented by COVID-19 showcased the benefits of telehealth and how remote medical care is both cost-effective and necessary for many patients.
6. Technology Has Expanded Home Entertainment Options.
There is so much entertainment at our fingertips these days, that there is no excuse to be bored. Gone are the days of network TV as the main source of entertainment for Americans who find themselves at home looking for something to do. Streaming services, games, social media and hobby applications offer entertainment 24/7 for access to all the movies, TV shows, music, educational videos, and sports broadcasting anyone could possibly want or need.
Seniors may complain about the constant change that technology brings, but they benefit significantly from these advancements. While it is a rite of passage to long for the good ‘ole days, seniors appreciate the convenience and freedom that technology offers.