Tech savvy seniors: Growing older and wiser in the digital age
As we get older, our bodies tend to slow down. Our eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and our memories can fail us at times, but fear not, technology is here to save the day! Here are just a few ways that technology is revolutionizing the way we age.
Exercise is important, especially as we age. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, healthy people aged 65 and older need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense activities, such as brisk walking, as well as strength and balance exercises to optimize their health. But it can be hard to stay motivated and track progress. That’s where health wearable fitness tracking apps come in. With these apps, you can set goals and track workouts and even compete with friends. Smart watches can up the ante and add falls detection and internet access and phone capabilities.
Do you forget to turn the lights out before you go to bed? How about misplacing your glasses or keys for the hundredth time? Did you remember to take your medications? With sensors linked to voice assistants like Alexa or google home you can control your smart home devices with just your voice. Voice assistants can also be used to play music, ask questions, check weather or traffic, and set alarms or timers. There are even smart medication boxes that will alarm if you have missed a medication.
Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to be out of the loop. With social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, seniors are staying connected with family and friends, near and far. You can share photos, stories, catch up with the grandkids and even chat with loved ones who live in faraway countries. Just remember the time zone differences!
Going to the grocery store can be a hassle, especially if you have mobility issues, but with online shopping, you can get everything you need delivered right to your door. Plus you can avoid the crowds and long lines that come with traditional shopping. Even if you are the type that likes to inspect the produce before you buy, having the option to purchase heavy items and dry goods and staples is a win win!
Older adults are fueling the growth in video streaming by subscribing to multiple services, including Netflix, Hulu and HBO max to not only watch their favorite shows but also participate in physical fitness and mindfulness classes. Network TV is becoming less popular especially among the aging baby boomers.
So, while technology is helpful in so many ways, seniors are particularly susceptible to online and digital scams. AARP offers free online classes on how to avoid scams, improve digital skills and protect personal information online – this way you are not only older but wiser in this digital age.