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Technologies to Embrace as a Senior
Why learn how to use technology? What can it
actually do for you? You don’t need to be an expert to benefit from technology.
Here are a few suggestions on how to begin.
Video Chat and Social Media
Many seniors are already benefitting from the use of video chats like Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime to keep in touch with long-distance friends and relatives. All that is needed is an internet connection on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Best of all, you can actually see the person on the other line and will no longer pay for long-distance phone calls.
Social media, like Facebook, is also becoming popular amongst seniors since they can keep in touch or reconnect with family members and old friends, while viewing pictures that people have posted and also post some of their own.
Owning a smartphone can be crucial in the face of an emergency if unable to find a payphone or nearby store. It can also be important for your loved ones if they need to contact you urgently.
Why a smartphone? These devices are becoming more and more senior-friendly with touch screens, options to make your buttons and keyboard larger, and voice features that can type messages or dial contact numbers for you without touching the keyboard.
Health Tracking Software
If you are finding it challenging to keep track of your medications, then a health tracker application on your smartphone or tablet can send you reminders when it is time to take certain pills and even when it’s time to refill your prescriptions.
Some applications can also record information such as medical history, physician contact information, and your health conditions.
If you are concerned about you or a loved one getting lost once in a while, then a GPS tracker may be of great use. These devices are designed to alert you, your loved ones, or a caretaker that the user has wandered out of their comfort zone. Some can be attached to the wrist or clothing, while others are available as smartphone applications.
If you are not worried about occasional memory loss incidents, using GPS while driving is still very useful. When driving to places that are unfamiliar, they can keep your attention focused on driving instead of looking at a map, following written directions, and even straining your eyes to see the upcoming exit. You don’t even need to spend additional money on one if you already own a smartphone because there’s an app for that!
Many of the above technologies require Internet use, so if you are not comfortable with this yet, then you can look for a how-to class at your local senior center or ask a family member or friend for help. Once you dip your toes, you will quickly get the hang of it and learn that the Internet and technology is for everyone.
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