4 Ways Seniors Can Use Technology to Stay Healthy and Independent
By Katybeth Dee
Technology is changing the face of aging. No longer the highest-tech device in a senior’s home is the medical alert system. These days, seniors are using all kinds of technology to make their daily lives healthier, safer, and more convenient. Whether you’re a senior living at home or a long-distance caregiver wondering how you can make a difference in your loved one’s life, these are four ways you can use technology to improve senior wellness.
Use the Medicare Plan Finder to review Medicare coverage
The Medicare plan selection process can be confusing, but the updated Medicare Plan Finder is designed to make it easier for seniors to compare coverage and choose the best plan for their healthcare needs. With the Medicare Plan Finder, you can input prescriptions for help choosing a Part D plan, view the Medicare Advantage plans available in your area, and compare Medigap plans side by side. Before sitting down to shop for coverage during the Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, compile a list of your medications and providers to help during the plan selection process.
Exercise at home with online fitness videos
Physical activity is a must for staving off mobility problems in the later years. Unfortunately, only one in three seniors aged 64-75 are physically active. Even among seniors who exercise, many struggle to get the recommended amount of exercise each week.
Wearable activity trackers like Fitbit remind seniors to get moving but offer little help to seniors who want to exercise but don’t know where to start. That’s where exercise videos come in. With a wide range of workout apps and free and paid fitness videos available online, seniors can find guided workouts for every ability level. You don’t need a smart TV to play workout videos on the big screen, either. With a streaming media player, it’s possible to access high-definition videos and apps from your television simply by plugging in a compatible device.
Get help at home from Alexa
It may have been millennials who made smart speakers like the Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo popular, but older adults are increasingly embracing smart home technology as a way to make their daily lives more convenient. Smart speakers can be used to check the weather, search for recipes, play music, and make shopping lists, but perhaps even more valuable is the smart device’s ability to set medication reminders and alert loved ones when a senior needs help. When paired with other smart technology like smart light bulbs, locks, and thermostats, seniors can also use their voice-activated speaker to control home functions.
Stay organized and connected with RememberStuff
Staying on top of birthdays, holidays, and appointments can become challenging as you get older. That’s true even for seniors without cognitive impairment, but especially for older adults in the early stages of dementia. However, minor organizational challenges at home aren’t enough to warrant moving to a long-term care facility. That’s where RememberStuff comes in. With an easy-to-use touchscreen interface that even the non-tech-savvy can understand, RememberStuff makes it easy for seniors to stay organized and cope with cognitive decline. In addition to an interactive calendar, RememberStuff includes messaging so seniors can keep in touch with friends and family, as well as other tools designed to support seniors with cognitive impairment in daily life.
Gone are the days when older adults shied away from new technology. Today’s seniors are embracing high-tech tools that help them stay healthy and independent for longer — and you should too! While adopting new technologies at home may require a small investment and a learning curve, it’s nothing compared to what you stand to gain.