Today’s older adults are the first generation to routinely use high technology in their day-to-day lives. Here are 10 best devices that all older adults in our senior communities should embrace, as recommended by our Delmanor LivingWell Managers, Kristina Lopez Papic and Tiffany Moraes.
- Tablets, computers and laptops
These devices have been real game changers. And for older adults, portable tablets loaded with apps play an especially important role in communication and cognitive stimulation. “Some favorite apps of our residents include Mind Games and Left vs. Right,” says Lopez. “It’s great for mental stimulation, they can play every day to stay cognitively engaged.” Newspaper apps are also popular, adds Moraes. “Of course, tablets open up the world to older adults through email, Skype, Facebook, YouTube and more.”
- Smart phones
The go-to device when you’re on the move, older adults love their phones “to communicate with friends and family, and they are also great for emergencies,” says Lopez, who says one of her residents favorite phone apps is Uber.
- Smart watches
Apple watches and Fit Bits have a lot of applications, but older adults primarily use them as fitness trackers, says Moraes. “They love the novelty of connecting to their steps. Smart watches are more accurate than pedometers at calculating steps. They show how distance, calories burned and more. They also have many functions and they’re easy to use.”
- Foldable keyboards
Many older adults find the keyboard on their phone and even their tablet too small for easy use. “Foldable keyboards are extremely portable and connect to devices using wireless Bluetooth technology so you don’t have to use the touchscreens,” says Lopez.
Can’t get to a bookstore or library? E-books offer great advantages: “You can order a book from the comfort of your home,” says Moraes. “Plus you can adjust the font size if you require larger print.”
These small tracking devices can attach to almost any item and use Bluetooth technology to connect to your mobile device, locating the item when it goes missing. “This would be helpful for anyone who constantly loses their keys, phone, wallet and more, this is an amazing piece of technology,” enthuses Lopez.
- Assistive technology
Whether to aid with hearing or sight, there are some great new assisted living products, including technology to enlarge your desktop or special phones to help those who have hearing impairments, says Moraes. “There are also devices that connect wirelessly to the television via Bluetooth to help a person who is hard of hearing, they don’t have to turn the volume way up.”
- Light therapy
These are light boxes that fight off seasonal affective disorder, “recreating light for people who have issues with mood over lack of sunshine,” explains Lopez. The devices and bulbs are portable, affordable and don’t take up much space.
- Sound sleep machines
This device plays different soothing sounds and blocks out ambient noise to help you sleep. “It’s great for those with short sleep cycles and insomnia,” says Lopez.
- Medical alert systems
These send alerts for those who may require emergency medical attention, particularly if you’ve fallen or are experiencing a traumatic medical event.