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Seniors get a bum rap when it comes to technology. People assume they can’t learn how to operate modern devices. But if a 4-year-old can figure out how to play Angry Birds, isn’t it a bit dismissive to think that a generation filled with retired doctors, lawyers, engineers and teachers can’t figure it out?
Tech companies have started to see seniors as a vast untapped market. Several companies have devoted themselves to developing apps for the aging. In Japan, government-owned Japan Post Group has begun an initiative to get seniors online. In five years, the group hopes to give millions of its aging citizens iPads featuring custom apps designed specifically for seniors by Apple and IBM.
The iPads, which are inspired by devices sent to traveling nurses and hospitals, are crafted with a thought toward easy use. The interface is large, sharp and easy to read – offering simple options for seniors to select (My Family, My Health, My Community). The idea is that seniors can start using the device to help them live more successful lives. The iPad can alert them when it’s time to take medication, offer nutrition tips and links to communities where they can find help if they need it. The device even has a feature that allows seniors to call for help with just a tap of the screen.
While the iPads are designed with seniors in mind, they don’t just offer apps on healthcare. Seniors will have access to all the standard apps on an iPad, including iTunes and iBooks. Apple and IBM hope to launch these types of devices in America in the coming years. The companies believe that tablet devices are the next wave of aging care and that America’s growing senior population will rely on the devices to stay connected with family, manage healthcare and explore.
At Capital City Nurses, we believe that aging doesn’t limit your ability to learn. If you want your loved one to be in an engaging environment, consider refined residential living like The Cottage at Curry Manor. We offer games, classes, excise, community groups and gardening for all our residents, in order to enrich their lives.
If you have an aging loved one, invest in a tablet and invest some time in teaching them how to use it. An iPad may be the key to keeping your loved one happy and independent as they age.