Staying connected through technology: 6 benefits for seniors

September 23rd, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Your parents can enhance their everyday routine with technology.

By using staying connected and using technology to its fullest advantage, your parents can enhance their everyday routine. Here are six ways your loved ones can benefit from staying connected:

1. Educational purposes
The internet is an information hub that offers unlimited learning material. Between finding reading world and local news updates, to looking up their childhood home on Google Maps, seniors can use the internet to explore their interests and continue their education. If they're not familiar with the internet, the NAWL Planning Guide suggests introducing them to training sessions from resources like Older Adults Technology Services, Senior Net and AARP.

2. Transportation needs
Over time, your loved ones will likely have to stop driving. That means they will rely on you, other relatives or public transportation to get around. While you might not always be available to make the trip, your loved ones can use technology to find a ride. According to The Huffington Post, transportation apps such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have recently expanded into more rural areas across the country, and more seniors are using them every day. As long as your parents have a smartphone, they'll always have a way to get to doctors appointments and social gatherings.

3. Grocery shopping services
If your parents aren't interested in using a transportation app to get them to the grocery store, they can use food delivery apps. On-demand grocery and restaurant delivery services are affordable, simple options that ensure your loved ones are getting the foods they need for healthy meals.

4. Tracking health
Keeping track of your parents' overall health doesn't have to involve you constantly asking them questions.  Instead, consider a health tracking band like Fitbit. It can monitor heart rate and sleep, and also track daily exercise and activity. All of the collected data can be shared between you and your parents from their smartphones, keeping you in the loop with their health.

5. Social interaction
Did you know that about 89 percent of seniors send or read an email every day? And more than half of those older adults respond and exchange multiple messages during any given session. Email and social media sites make social interaction as simple as can be. Facebook allows individuals to reconnect with people from their past, engage with grandchildren and create new friendships with like-minded individuals. Consider setting your parents up with a Facebook page, or encouraging more use of existing profiles.

You can also introduce them to video-chatting via Skype, a program that allows friends and family members to connect with a live camera feed.

6. Physical fitness
Using technology doesn't only consist of sitting on the couch and browsing through a tablet. Your aging parents can also maintain physical wellness with digital gaming! Consoles such as Wii allow your loved ones to get up and get moving while they use technology. They can try interactive bowling games and virtual dance lessons right in the comfort of their living room.

For more information on National Assisted Living week and how you and your loved ones can "keep connected," click here.

Source: Sunrise Senior Living

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