It’s no secret that technology can make our lives a lot easier. The right device can help seniors stay connected to family, send an emergency alarm, schedule a Telehealth exam or even manage day-to-day tasks! However, purchasing and using a new device can sometimes feel a little overwhelming—and that’s totally normal. Whether you’re new to tech or a seasoned professional, here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable with your devices and a quick list of gadgets worth checking out along the way:
Quick Tips: Technology for Seniors
Ready to try out a new device? Before you dive in, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind (or put your mind at ease):
- Practice, practice, practice: No one has ever learned a new skill overnight, but that’s what practice is for! Set up a few times to practice using your device with friends or family, without the pressure of getting it right. Test playing games, sending messages, scheduling alerts or any other functions you’d like to learn.
- Create reminder cards: Just as you might leave a sticky note on the fridge to remind yourself to buy eggs, you can create small, physical reminders around your living space to remind you how to use your tech. Consider asking your friends or family to even prepare a small booklet of instructions that you can refer back to at any time.
- Take an educational class: Did you know there are in-person educational courses for seniors to help them feel more comfortable with technology? There are plenty of opportunities to learn from an instructor in your community how to better use your technology through hands-on training and step-by-step tutorials.
- Take time to unplug: Technology is meant to enhance our lives, not complicate it. If a specific tech gadget stresses you out, it’s okay to take a break and ask for help. It’s also important that you don’t spend too many hours in front of a phone, tablet or device screen. If you find yourself slipping into hours of scrolling or clicking, it might be a sign to step back for a few days.
The goal of technology is to enhance your everyday life. You just might discover that your gadgets can help you in unconventional ways the more you use them. A new tablet could allow you to start online dating, or motion-sensored lights could be the solution to improve safety in your living space.
Best Tech Gadgets for Seniors
Now that you’re feeling a little more comfortable with technology, it’s time to tackle the next challenge! Only add new devices when you feel ready—and don’t feel pressured to purchase a lot of new tech all at once. However, when it comes to trying out a new device, you’d be surprised just how many tech gadgets are out there:
- Digital memory clock: These simple devices have large numbers for increased visibility and display extra details to help adults with memory loss. It’s not high-tech, but the clock can provide valuable cues to help anyone start their day. The clock above can be programmed with up to five alarms each day with mealtime, medication or general reminders.
- Grandpad: The Grandpad is a tablet designed with seniors in mind. It is easy to use and has large colorful buttons and large fonts for easy accessibility. It has much of the functionality of a typical tablet, with the ability to make video calls, take photos, read emails and listen to music.
- Tile sticker: The Tile Sticker is a small tracker that is the size of a quarter. You can stick it on objects that are frequently misplaced like remote controls or phones and use an app on your phone to find items within a 250-foot range.
- Apple airpods: It’s a little-known fact that AirPods can pair with an iPhone to act as a hearing aid. With the Live Listen feature, AirPods use your iPhone as a microphone. Simply place the iPhone near the person speaking and it drowns out background noise and amplifies sound.
- MedMinder dispenser: MedMinder uses smart technology to remind seniors when it’s time to take important medications. Doses can be loaded in advance, and you can receive updates when it’s time to refill.
How to Stay Connected
No matter how you choose to use your technology, remember that it’s completely normal to feel some discomfort or uncertainty at first. Technology is all about keeping us connected to our loved ones and improving our everyday lives. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel with new devices in your living space!