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Log On to Life in the Modern Age
The newest generation of Americans is more plugged in than ever. They’ve never heard a dial-up signal, never experienced a world without the internet, and would wonder at a rotary phone. It’s easy for seniors to feel left behind as our rapidly evolving technology makes the world a smaller place.
Just because your 4-year-old grandkid is more versed in using an iPad doesn’t mean technology isn’t for you. In fact, modern gadgets and toys can actually help you as you age. Here are a few modern devices you might want to add to your home:
Tablets. The ultimate and easiest piece of tech to bring into your home is a tablet device. Tablets offer versatile content, from games that can hone your mind to web browsing. Seniors can learn how to use a tablet with a minimum of effort and reap major rewards. Use brain training aps and word games to test and expand your body of knowledge. Learn a new language online. Read your favorite book on a device that allows you to enlarge text. There are also several aps that can help seniors track their medications if their caregivers aren’t around.
Videogame. You don’t need to be a teenager to enjoy a good videogame. Playing videogames are a good way to sharpen your mind and your motor skills. Playing videogames improves hand-eye coordination. If you buy a motion sensitive system, like a Nintendo Wii or a Kinct for Xbox, videogames become a full-body activity that can help seniors improve their balance and muscle tone. The best part of videogaming, however, are the family benefits: You’ll be the coolest grandparent on the block!
Skype. Phone calls are wonderful, but sometimes it’s nice to see someone in person. Skype, a free video calling program turns your computer into a video phone. You’ll be able to chat face-to-face with your loved ones, which leads to a great feeling of connectivity. If you’re a senior who’s feeling isolated, Skype is also a great way for you to make new connections. Chicago-area seniors started a Skype program with a Brazilian high school. The teens practice their English while seniors get stimulating conversations and some experience with new technology.
Medical Devices. If you live alone, it’s always nice to have someone looking out for you. With wireless medical devices, your loved ones can rest assured that you’re safe at home. These devices go beyond the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” necklaces. Some alert systems monitor the house, sending an email to a loved one if you haven’t opened the medicine cabinet by a specific time, and some monitor the body, helping for fall detection. Scientists are currently developing a radar-like device that will monitor the house and not require the donning of a medical alert bracelet or necklace.
As technology makes our world more connected, it’s time for seniors to embrace the changes. At Capital City Nurses, we know technology can help seniors stay healthy, maintain independence, and stay social. With a little patience and persistence, you can learn how to use an iPad just as effectively as a teenager – and you might even be able to beat them at Words With Friends!