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Keeping Modern Technology Simple for Seniors

Nov 29 2017

By Jess Walter

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Modern technology has moved forward dramatically in the past ten years and this can be very confusing for elderly people who are aging in place. Even making a telephone call can be a complicated process. Technology can improve the quality of life for seniors, but they need to be able to use it easily. Many seniors find that they simply do not have the dexterity to deal with small buttons. It is common also for eyesight to degenerate as we get older, so it is important that technology includes bigger fonts. There are plenty of ways that we can make technology really accessible for older generations who remain at home.  

Using the T.V. Remote

How many TV Stations do you watch regularly? The majority of us only watch a handful of stations regularly, yet we are overwhelmed with choice. For the elderly, this excess of unnecessary information can be a real problem. It actually puts elderly people off of watching the TV at all, which is a shame. The TV can be a valuable source of not only entertainment, but also of information. It keeps seniors involved and interested in the current world, even though they might not be able to get out and about as frequently. In order to simplify using the TV, tape a simple list of channel numbers on the back of the remote control that are most frequently used. On the front of the remote control, tape over the buttons which are never used. For many seniors, the only buttons needed are on/off, the volume control and the channel numbers. Many of the other buttons are just confusing.

Using cellphones easily

It is estimated that 40 percent of seniors now own smartphones. The device has become essential for keeping in touch with loved ones, sharing photographs and sending emails. For the elderly, or those with dementia, cellphones and smartphones can seem impossibly complicated. When all you want to do is to phone your daughter for a chat, cellphones with small buttons and tiny digital text can be a problem. If you have friends or family that are struggling, it is worth investing in a simplified phone that they can just make calls from. It will help seniors feel safe and secure at home. Blue Joy, Snapfon and Jitterbug all manufacture models aimed specifically at the elderly, with few features and a long battery life. 

Connecting to the net

Ninety percent of seniors go online, and the internet has really changed the way that they interact with the world around them. Reasons why senior citizens use the internet include, keeping in touch with family, online shopping and finding out health information. Using a desktop computer can be overwhelming though. The development of tablet technology, which is intuitive and simple has helped the elderly get online easier. This helps them to feel less isolated within the community. Tablets for the elderly can be set up so they have bigger fonts and easier to read screens. 

Modern technology is something that seniors have embraced, and as they get older, we can help them by making simple changes. Using this technology enhances quality of life and helps the elderly to keep in touch with the world around them.