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Seniors and Technology: An Unlikely Match Made in Heaven

By Jan Bolder - November 27, 2013

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It's never too late for anyone to hop on the technological wagon, and seniors are no different. Here are 5 ways technology can work wonders for them.

1. Skype

Being able to hear and see loved ones through Skype is one of the easiest ways to communicate, giving seniors a large degree of independence. Setting up an account is simple, and only takes a few minutes. Once they're done, they can log in anytime to give friends and family members a call, keeping them connected no matter where in the world everyone is. 

2. Online Medical Charts

An unfortunate fact of getting older is that medical visits tend to increase as age-related health problems go up. And because there's no guarantee that a medical trip will take place at the same place each time, having each doctor or nurse know a senior's file can take precious time. Instead, having medical charts online makes it easier and faster for medical professionals to quickly get up-to-speed on your senior's history and issues.

3. Medication Management

Another side effect of getting older and seeing the doctor more often is medication usage usually increases. Keeping track of them and knowing when to take them can be confusing at best, but smartphone apps can help sort that out. While pill boxes are handy, apps like Rxmind Me or Personal Caregiver issue alerts and alarms to help seniors take their medication when they need to, cutting down on missed medication and medication errors.

4. Nintendo Wii

This popular video game isn't just for teenagers. Seniors can use it, too, as a way of keeping active in their own homes, no matter what their level of physical ability is or what kind of weather is outside. The video game system offers interactive games of all kinds, like dancing, bowling, tennis, golf, and more. Seniors can go at the pace they're comfortable with, and play alone or with partners, with the latter comprising a social component vital for senior living.

5. GPS

Memory tends to suffer the older a person gets, and what used to be a simple task, like driving to the grocery store one town over, can now become more complex. But a GPS device can ameliorate that, giving seniors turn-by-turn instructions in any accent they choose, helping them retain independence longer than before. 

6. TV Ears

Hearing becomes dimished with age, with the upper registers the first to go, followed by the lower. This leaves seniors with a reduced ability to hear high- and low-pitched voices, with the middle range starting to be muddled up, too. What TV ears do is allow the senior to use a headset they adjust for their benefit, keeping the TV at a volume that's fine for everyone else. It also reduces room noise so dialogue remains clear and easy to understand.