The stereotype that seniors lack technology skills is, well, old and outdated. Recent studies have shown that nearly 60% of people over 65 use the Internet, and many companies are dedicating a fair amount of research into “aging in place” tech tools and gadgets. In addition to employing assistive technology devices, such as smartphone apps to manage medication and GPS insoles for the memory impaired, many seniors are using technology the same way younger generations use it – to maintain social connections, share photos, email and videoconference family, and even track their fitness goals.
Approximately 6 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from late-life depression, but new technology is helping to alleviate those affects. By fostering regular connection with loved ones and providing intellectual stimulation, the latest tech gadgets can actually improve our quality of life as we age.
Here are the Top 10 Pieces of Technology for Seniors currently in use at Eddy Senior Living – a community of independent living, assisted living/enriched housing and memory care communities in the Albany NY area.
Access to WiFi is essential for seniors to connect with loved ones and gain access to news, information and entertainment. Several companies now offer low-cost Internet service for eligible seniors, and Comcast has even started a trial program to provide free computer and Internet training classes in several states. For Eddy Senior Living residents, WiFi is available at all of our independent living, assisted living, enriched housing and memory care communities in the Albany NY area.
Smartphones & Tablets
When it comes to computer technology, the more mobile it is, the more usable it is for seniors. In fact, most aging adults prefer tablets to desktop computers and laptops for using email, sharing photos, videoconferencing and surfing the web. They’re lightweight, the touch screens are intuitive, and fonts are customizable for easy reading. Likewise, smartphones allow active seniors to keep in touch with family and friends even when on-the-go, and more people over 65 are texting now, too.
With large fonts, simplified menus, lengthy battery life and ease-of-use, seniors have fallen in love with e-readers. In fact, several of the independent living communities at Eddy Senior Living provide new residents with a Kindle Fire. In addition to reading books, residents can surf the web over WiFi, watch videos, or listen to music. If looking at LCD screens causing eye strain, an e-reader with e-ink screen technology, like the Kindle Paperwhite, is a nice alternative to a tablet.
What’s the fastest growing demographic on Facebook? Not youngsters, but seniors! While most older users fall into the category of “Facebook Surveillance”, since they prefer to use the platform to check out what their kids and grandkids are up to versus actually posting themselves, there’s still a significant amount of people over 65 that posts status updates, share photos and use Messenger, Facebook’s chat feature, to keep in touch with loved ones near and far.
While most seniors will tell you that they prefer their family members to visit, videoconferencing is the next best thing. In some cases, it can be even better, allowing parents or grandparents to see into the daily lives of their children and grandchildren. The technology for videoconferencing is fairly intuitive, too, with most seniors learning how to use a free program, such as Skype, after just a few short lessons with a family member or caregiver. In fact, one of the residents at Glen Eddy Independent Living Community in Niskayuna uses Skype each week to video chat with her sister in Singapore!
Routine physical activity and exercise is key in the prevention and treatment of physical decline and frailty for seniors, and wearable fitness trackers are a great way to keep seniors motivated to meet their goals. Personal fitness trackers, like the Fitbit, are particularly popular among Eddy Senior Living residents. There are, however, many options and models to choose from, so check out this Fitbit buyer’s guide for seniors.
For much of the aging population, driving is no longer an option, but with the advent of transportation apps, such as Uber and Lyft, they can still be independent and mobile. While many of our assisted living and enriched housing communities provide transportation to medical appointments and other places for shopping and religious services, several residents have started using Uber and Lyft for unscheduled outings.
More than 1,200 senior living communities across the U.S. and Canada, including all of the Eddy Senior Living communities, rely on Touchtown to increase resident wellness and happiness. The interactive technology allows residents to use their televisions and apps on their computers and tablets to learn about campus activities and events, and socialize with other residents.
GPS Enabled Health Alert Systems
One in three seniors ages 65 and older falls at least once a year, resulting in lacerations, hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries, heart attacks and permanent disabilities. GPS enabled personal emergency response systems provide peace of mind for seniors and their families, knowing that help can be summoned whenever and wherever it is needed. Eddy Health Alert has a MobileAlert device that uses the latest GPS technology and a satellite-based system to pinpoint the location of the user and transmit their unique ID, anywhere in the United States.
Memory Care Technology
It’s Never 2 Late – dignity through technology, is a new memory care tool in use at Eddy Hawthorne Ridge in East Greenbush. The interactive system employs a touchscreen interface, along with programs and games designed by experts in dementia to reduce anxiety, engage and refocus, entertain and stimulate reminiscing conversations. Through dignified, state-of-the art activities and therapy experiences, iN2L helps caregivers and family members connect with someone dealing with dementia.
Learn More About Technology for Seniors at Eddy Senior Living
To learn more about the technology available to seniors at Eddy Senior Living, please contact us at (518) 280-8385. You can also find detailed information about our independent living, enriched housing and memory care communities below:
• Beechwood at Eddy Memorial, Independent Living Community in Troy NY
• Beverwyck, Independent Living Community in Slingerlands NY
• Eddy Hawthorne Ridge, Independent Living Community in East Greenbush NY
• Glen Eddy, Independent Living Community in Niskayuna NY
• The Glen at Hiland Meadows, Independent Living Community in East Greenbush NY
Assisted Living & Enriched Housing
• The Terrace at Eddy Memorial, Assisted Living & Enriched Housing Community in Troy NY
• The Terrace at Beverwyk, Assisted Living & Enriched Housing Community in Slingerlands NY
• The Terrace at Eddy Hawthorne Ridge, Assisted Living & Enriched Housing Community in East Greenbush NY
• The Terrace at Glen Eddy, Assisted Living & Enriched Housing Community in Niskayuna NY
• The Terrace at The Glen, Assisted Living & Enriched Housing Community in East Greenbush NY
• Eddy Memory Care at Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center, Cohoes NY
• Eddy Memory Care at Eddy Hawthorne Ridge, East Greenbush NY