Benefits of Tech for Senior Citizens
A blog by Salil Mitra (Khyaal content community member)
From the way we communicate with each other to the way we shop and pay bills, technology has become an integral part of our lives. But what does this mean for senior citizens? How do they fit into the tech revolution? This article will cover the benefits of tech for seniors and some tips that can be useful to keep their tech skills sharp as they age. So without further ado, let's take a look at the multiple benefits of tech in the life of the elderly.
Simplify Your Life
There are many devices that are designed for senior citizens, to simplify their lives. You can purchase these products from the store or learn to use the ones that you already have at home. For instance, there are home security cameras that you can install at home. The camera will be able to record anything that happens in your house. You can access the footage remotely and see what happened. You can also set the camera to send an alert to your mobile phone when it detects movement.
Home appliances can also be helpful. For instance, you can get a smart thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature in your home from your smartphone. There are also smart lighting products that you can turn on or off from your smartphone.
Stay In Touch With Family And Friends
Technology allows you to stay in touch with family and friends. You can talk with them on the phone, video chat, text message, email, and share photos and videos through social media. And since technology has become so much more convenient, there is no need for you to travel across town to meet them. You can meet them from the comfort of your home. The best part is, that the distance between you and your loved one doesn’t matter as much when you are chatting with them online.
Monitor Your Health
Technology has also made it possible for people to monitor their health. For instance, there are fitness trackers that can keep track of your daily activities. It can also provide you with an overview of your health conditions. You can use the data to plan your workouts and stay healthy.
You can also get a sleep tracker. It's a wearable device that helps you to monitor your sleep patterns. It will measure the quality and duration of your sleep. You can also use it to set a daily alarm to wake up at a specific time. Smartwatches are also available for senior citizens. They can be used for a variety of purposes including tracking your health, checking the weather forecast, and taking calls.
Do Something That You Love
Technology is changing so quickly, and there are so many new things that you can do with it. The best part about this is that you don’t have to be a tech genius to do them. So if you’re looking for interesting ways to use technology to enjoy yourself, just try doing something new that you’ve always wanted to do. For example, if you love sewing or knitting, you could spend a few hours on the internet trying to find free patterns to make. Or if you like cooking, you could spend some time searching for recipes online. There are plenty of ways you can use technology to keep yourself entertained, even when you’re retired.
Read Books Without Actually Reading
If you’re someone who loves to read but doesn’t have a lot of time, patience, or the physical ability to sit down and do so, audiobooks may be for you. While the experience of listening to audiobooks is quite different from reading physical books, they can still be a great way to get your daily dose of reading without having to invest much time or energy. Some apps even allow you to download multiple books at once so that you can listen to them all at once or in a series. A habit like this one will increase your knowledge, and keep you updated with what's going on around the world.
Listen to Music
If you want to listen to music while you are working out, then Bluetooth speakers are a great option. Use your smartphone or smart device, and you'll have your musical party at home! Bluetooth speakers offer a theatre-like experience right in the comfort of your home.
Keep Yourself Safe
Technology is also a great way to keep you safe, especially if you live alone. If you are feeling uneasy or sick for some reason, you can call for help any time using your mobile phone. You can install a closed-circuit monitoring camera outside your main door, which will inform you if you have a visitor. Coming to the digital world, technology also comes to your rescue to take care of your security. Use anti-virus software to stay safe from bots, malware or phishing attacks. This software is designed to keep your data safe so that you can browse the internet without any worries.
As an elderly adult, it might not always be possible for you to visit a shopping mall. But with technology by your side, you can do all of your shopping just with the help of your smartphone or computer. There are hundreds of online shopping websites; you have to select the product you want and get it shipped to your address. So if you often feel the urge to go on a shopping spree but feel restricted because of health-related limitations, shopping online is the perfect solution for you.
With the advent of payment apps, you don't need to visit the bank to send money to someone. The same goes for paying money to the online merchants you shop from. You can pay through credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, or use third-party online transaction apps or the designated app of your bank. While online payment is a highly convenient solution, it also creates loopholes for fraudulent activities. To keep your bank account secure, you should set up a strong pin or password, and be careful while making transactions in a public place.
Get Online Food Delivery
As a senior citizen, doing the daily household chores such as cooking, washing and cleaning could be tedious. While you can use the washing machine and dishwasher for the latter two but the first job cannot be automated. This is where food delivery apps come into the picture. Just place an order for the food you're craving, add your address, make payment, and your food will arrive in no time.
Opt for Health Checkup or Consultation
If you're too unwell to visit the hospital, you can opt for online consultation. This has also been made possible by technology. You can use a suitable video calling app to talk to your healthcare provider and they will prescribe medicines as per the condition. While online checkups are not viable for all kinds of diseases, it's a convenient option when you're bound by physical limitations.
Downsides of Technology for Senior Citizens
While technology is a boon for senior citizens, it can also cause trouble if not used with caution. Let's quickly go over a few drawbacks of excessive reliance on technology.
When you're always glued to your smartphone and computer, at some point, you will realise that you are sacrificing spending quality time with loved ones for screen time. If you're too deep into the digital world, it's normal to feel sad and lonely when you turn off your smart device. While technology keeps you connected with those living far away from you, it's always a good idea to meet people who are in the same locality or city. If old age doesn't permit you to go out, invite people over to your place, and have a gala time. No matter how advanced technology becomes, there is absolutely no replacement for human connections.
As technology makes progress, the risk of online fraud has also increased. You have to be careful while making online transactions. Don't share your password, don't use public wifi, and always log out if you're using someone else's computer for making a payment.
When you're always sitting in front of your smartphone, laptop or computer, it's easy to get carried away. You will find yourself watching entertaining videos on loop, hours after hours. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle which in turn affects your physical and mental health. You have to remember that there are alternatives to spending time in nature, taking a walk, or talking to a friend. It's good to use technology to keep up your spirits on boring days, but don't let it control your lifestyle.
Affects Sleeping Habits
Long hours of screen time create a negative impact on your eyes, causing pain and stress. It also leads to poor sleeping habits because too much exposure to the blue light emitted from your smartphone, laptop or computer is harmful to your health. The solution here is to use technology in moderation and never to a point that you become addicted to it.
Humans created technology to make lives easier. As a senior citizen, it can be a little difficult to cope with the forever evolving world of tech, but once you learn to use technology to your own benefit, there is no looking back. As you can understand from this article, there are various ways technology can make your life hassle-free, safe, and entertaining, but of course, it also has its downsides.
With time, we will see more and more inventions that will make life a lot less complicated for senior citizens. All you have to do is stay aware and don't let technology entirely take over your life.
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