Technology to round out your summer fun
When it comes to technology, seniors get a bad rap. The generation responsible for inventing the first artificial heart, USB port – heck, even the World Wide Web itself – is often portrayed by the media as being ridiculously reluctant to embrace today’s innovations. We’re here to tell you that’s not entirely true.
According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of adults over the age of 65 use the internet, with 47 percent of those users having a high-speed broadband connection at home. Seventy-seven percent of seniors have a cell phone. And, research indicates once seniors discover the ease and information available to them online, they’re more likely to make it part of their daily lives.
Today, more than ever before, it’s easier for the over-50 crowd to communicate, recreate and enjoy a better quality of life than previous generations regardless of their level of technology prowess.
Remember the freedom you felt riding a bicycle when you were young? Recreate those feelings of exhilaration – and get some additional boost up those hilly streets – on an ebike. These revolutionary two-wheel bicycles combine the fun of pedal power with the boost of an electric motor when you need the assistance. Ebikes are eco-friendly, fun and function as a normal bicycle until you engage the motor, which helps you ride further and more easily.
Health tracking software
Today’s technology can also help manage your health using smart phone apps, such as:
- HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker (iPhone, iPad): Easily record your blood pressure, heart rate and weight on a daily basis and over time.
- Pillboxie (iPhone, iPad): Schedule reminders to take your medications and check them off as you take them.
- EyeReader (iPhone): Turn your iPhone into a magnifying glass with this app, which also has a light. Great for reading that fine print on packaging and medication containers.
Technology for low-tech savvy seniors
If you don’t own a smart phone and learning new technology is daunting, you may want to investigate one of these devices:
- Lively Smart Emergency Response Watch displays time, counts steps and calls for help when you need it. The one-push emergency response button is part of a stylish, easy-to-read display. The device is waterproof and battery-operated, meaning there’s no charging necessary.
- grandPad – a modified Android tablet allows the less-tech savvy senior to view family photos and videos, make voice and video calls, send voice emails, create a personalized music library and play favorite games such as Solitaire, Sudoku and Crossword.
- Greatcall makes products for active, mobile, independent seniors. The Jitterbug5 is an easy-to-use cell phone with a backlit keypad, large buttons, large, legible numbers, a powerful speaker and a battery that lasts up to 25 days.
New hearing aid compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
Technology savvy seniors who have been diagnosed with hearing loss but have not yet purchased hearing devices for cosmetic reasons will be happy to know times have changed. Thanks to digital technology, many individuals with hearing loss can take advantage of smaller, almost invisible, hearing aid models which are able to separate speech from background noise and are compatible with personal electronic devices.
For example, Danish hearing company, GN ReSound, debuted a hearing aid last year which acts like combination hearing aid and Bluetooth headphone. The LiNX sincs wirelessly with the newest Apple mobile devices, meaning you can stream FaceTime chats, music, movies, navigational apps and other audio directly into the small earpiece. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to program the device directly from your iPhone.
Just as Baby Boomer technology helps the world access information faster and live longer, today's technology enhances our quality of life and keeps us connected to those we love. How exciting to imagine what future generations will contribute.