In today’s connected world, it’s important for seniors to have the ability to use technology safely to build and maintain a social network. The benefits of technology for older adults can be numerous and are worth exploring. However, the Pew Research Center found that one-third of Americans 65 or older don’t use the internet, and among those who do, roughly one-third are not confident when performing tasks. If you want to help your aging relative become more confident and comfortable with technology, and want to ensure their online safety, many tools are available to help.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Your component EAP provides referrals and resources that can assist you in managing your caregiving responsibilities and provide you with information on helping your aging relative become more tech savvy.
- Senior Planet:* This organization provides information, training, and support to elderly adults and their caregivers on internet safety, technology solutions to help seniors age in place, and technology training. Senior Planet also has a technology hotline for those more comfortable with reaching out via telephone.
- Aging Connected:* This organization helps connect seniors to affordable, accessible internet services.
The benefits of technology for older adults and their caregivers include:
- Social connection: Video chat and social media provide a simple and personal connection with loved ones who are busy, or who live far away.
- Safety: Technological solutions can provide safety for seniors who choose to age in place rather than move into an assisted living facility. These solutions include the Personal Emergency Response System, a device that allows the wearer to call for help with a simple push of a button, and GPS tracking devices for seniors who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s and are prone to wandering.
- Health tracking: Consider using an app to help seniors and their caregivers organize health information, including medical history, physician contacts, medication schedules, and health conditions organized and handy.
- Medication management: Some seniors have trouble remembering when to take their medications, caregivers may want to monitor whether they are adhering to prescribed medication schedules. Pill boxes help, but several medication apps are available that provide reminders that can reduce missed medications and medication mistakes. Talk with your physician about recommended medication apps.
- Exercise: Whether your senior loved one wants to track his or her steps, or stay active at home, there is a technology solution that can help. Look into video games that encourage movement such as dance and sports games. Also, look into video games that encourage mental exercise and engagement such as puzzles and word games.
For more information on helping your relatives age in place, or to learn more about your Component EAP, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This information is being provided for your convenience and does not imply or express an endorsement of any non-federal entity, its products, or services. DHS is not responsible for the content provided by other entities or on any public website other than its own