If you think mobile technology is limited to young people — think again. Research shows that four in every ten seniors now own smartphones, and roughly half of older adults who own cell phones have some type of smartphone. But for those who still question the value of mobile technology, here are three ways holding power in the palm of your hand provides benefits for seniors.
The reason young people are glued to their smartphones is that an entire world of social media, music, and games is within reach. But those benefits aren’t restricted to those under the age of 18. Seniors can enjoy audiobooks, music libraries, exercise routines, shopping, movies, online banking, transportation services, and even recipes. The accessibility to resources that make life easier for older adults is unprecedented.
The motto, “There’s an app for that” is true for all ages. “Much like our business customizes cloud technology systems to fit the needs of a company, smartphones and tablets can be uniquely designed to help seniors with daily needs,” said Ryan Westwood, CEO of Simplus. “Smartphones can be setup to monitor medication schedules, turn lights on and off, and make phone calls by vocal command.” Considering the ease of use, seniors have almost more to gain from this technology than any other demographic.
As more seniors gain access to technology, the opportunities to connect with loved ones and people who share common interests are growing. And that’s good news for senior health as well as their social calendar. Studies from Michigan State University showed that seniors who used online technology greatly reduced symptoms of depression. Moreover, researchers from the University of Washington are taking health concerns even further by treating symptoms with a video game interface that targets underlying cognitive issues associated with depression. Just imagine being able to literally play your blues away.
As financial outlets are investing in more secure platforms, seniors can feel more comfortable about banking online. This proves handy for loved ones as well, who can monitor transactions, make deposits, pay bills, and act quickly on suspect charges. Technology also makes it easy to secure a home by locking doors, control lighting, activate security systems, and send an alert for medical care.
New technology, known as “aging-in-place” technology is enabling seniors to extend and improve independent living. Writer Sally Abrahms explained that new applications could help loved ones track a senior’s daily activities and will send an alert of anything out of the ordinary. “Besides telling time, smart watches, for example, can also provide feedback on one’s vitals, such as blood pressure, that can be relayed to professionals,” said Abrahms. “These new products are affordable and easy to use.” And that offers peace of mind for loved ones.
While it seems smartphones provide little more than an endless game of Angry Birds and YouTube videos of dancing cats, the true value of mobile technology provides seniors with exciting and sometimes life-saving benefits.
This article was originally published by Orange County Register.