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We live in a digital world and rely on technology for almost everything. Whether it is to stay connected with friends and family, work or entertainment, or accessing family and health records, technology is a vital part of our everyday lives. For those born before 1960 however, being able to learn and use technology effectively can be a challenge. Here are some ways older audiences can stay connected.
A challenge for seniors is not just that they were born before the start of the digital age, but health conditions that can make using devices more difficult. Those suffering from arthritis have difficulty typing on keyboards, dialing a telephone, and using a remote control. Touch screen devices like tablets are much more user friendly. They are also very visual, and settings can be customized to suit the needs of the user.
Many seniors have family spread out across the country that they would like to keep in touch with. Travel can be difficult and is often a hassle, but a great way to keep up with kids, grandkids, and even great grandkids is through Skype. It is a simple way to interact with loved ones online via video in real time. The software is free and can be downloaded to computers, tablets, and smart phones.
Want to learn something new? Take a class! There are a number of places on the North Fork to learn how to use computers and the Internet. The Riverhead Free Library offers instruction classes to teach e-mail basics, how to use Google, and even how to get to know your computer. Along with libraries, there are adult continuing education courses at local schools that can also provide lessons and workshops on computer use.
This type of technology is perfect for any age drivers. Maps are less common when traveling, and GPS allows you to type in the address of where you need to go, providing turn-by-turn directions with vocal prompts. It is important to remember to program your GPS before you hit the road so that you are not distracted while on your trip. Best Buy has some good choices to look through.
Wireless Home Monitoring
Seniors who live alone or in an assisted living facility face many risks. Wireless home monitoring devices can notify caregivers of emergencies such as a fall, or even track vitals. Certain devices with GPS wiring can also detect if a person has left their home or other areas they may normally spend time. These tools are perfect to allow your loved ones maintain their independence, but also provide help if needed. Here is an updated reprot from Consumer Reports that can help one choose the right device. Consumer Report – Home Monitor Device
A new form of technology is becoming more prominent across the nation, and is especially useful in rural areas where there are fewer healthcare providers. Telemedicine is the use of information that can be shared electronically from one site to another to help improve a patient’s clinical health status. With new apps coming out, this new technology is easy to use.
Technology continues to expand and develop on a regular basis, and even those born in the digital age have to keep up with the emerging trends. The tips above are a great starting point for those who wish stay connected and in the know.