Advances in technologies, including the internet and apps, have led to advances in life expectancy as well as improvements to wellbeing. Creators in the digital space are scrambling to market their platforms and tools to seniors, but to enjoy this, you need to move past digital ownership and into the world of digital confidence.
What is ‘digital confidence’?
Digital confidence comes from a willingness to try new things and to learn. Adopting a digital life isn’t meant to come easy, and so your digital superpower will be your curiosity. The more curious you are, the more you can boost socialization, safety, entertainment, and convenience — all, at the push of a button.
- Socialization is one of the biggest benefits that modern technology has afforded us. It gives you the ability to communicate and socialize with the most minimal effort, which is especially important during the pandemic when socialization is at its hardest.
- Safety advancements in technology have made it so that no senior has to fear being alone in their own home. Personal monitoring devices can do everything from monitoring movement and falls to monitoring sleep and medication.
- Entertainment, games apps, and hobby apps allow you to stream entertainment to phones, tablets, and TVs. You don’t even need to download apps these days — modern TVs already come with easy access to your favorite shows and films.
- Convenience tools allow you to fill the pantry, order takeaway and refill prescriptions without leaving your home. When it’s tricky to get out and about and move freely through town, grocery shopping apps and other convenience tools are a must.
1. Video chatting software
The best video chat apps help you stay in touch with friends and family via your mobile, tablet, or desktop. Zoom is one you’ve probably heard of and comes in free and paid tiers. The free option supports calls of up to 100 participants for 40 minutes, so unless you have a huge family that likes to talk for hours, the free account will be all you need. Facebook Messenger is another one you might like to try, especially if you have young grandchildren who will get a kick out of the funny filters you can apply.
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2. Voice-controlled speakers
Voice-controlled smart speakers allow you to play music, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, ask questions, source news, check the weather forecast, and more. Plug an Amazon Echo Dot into your power and it’s always ready to help. Use your voice to add medication reminders and items to shopping lists, create calendar events and switch on lamps. You can also call friends and family who have a supported Echo device or the Alexa app.
3. Tile stickers
If misplacing items is becoming a regular occurrence, tile sticker technology will prevent you from losing everyday items. Small enough to be placed on remotes, wallets, keys, and other easily-misplaced household items, tile stickers connect to Bluetooth so you can open up your device and find it via an alarm or tune.
4. Wearable tech
Wearable technology like the Fitbit and Apple Watch isn’t just for the young and active anymore. Increasingly, older adults are turning to smart wearable gadgets to help them live healthier, happier lives. You can track your daily fitness, build in guided breathing exercises for relaxation and stress relief, track sleeping patterns, and more. Wearable tech can also provide family members and caregivers with peace of mind with features like fall detection and emergency monitoring.
5. Video doorbells
Doorbell camera systems provide real-time notifications to smartphones when visitors ring the doorbell or trigger motion sensors. You can speak to visitors anywhere or anytime or use the device to monitor doors around the home. Video doorbells are the new neighborhood watch.
6. Medication management
It can be confusing when managing multiple medications, I.e. what to take, when to take it, and what dosage. Remembering all of them doesn’t have to be a challenge, however, with some simple systems and tools in place. This includes talking alarm clocks and apps like Dosecast.
7. Simplified computers/tablets
Look for easy-to-use computers and touch screen capabilities that can be tailored to suit your needs, including larger display buttons and brighter screens for the visually impaired. GrandPad, for example, is one of the smartest, simplest, and safest ways to connect with loved ones, eliminating the clutter, distractions, and complications of other devices. You can view pictures added by your contacts, keep in touch through voice or video calls without the need for WiFi, listen to music or the radio, browse the web safely through managed sites and play fun and stimulating games.