The baby boomers that dominated the 20th century are now reaching retirement age and many of them are still averse to technology. With senior citizens making up around 18% of the UK and the number increasing as the boomers start to retire, it’s about time they started to realise the benefits that technology could bring to their autumn and winter years.
GPS – With incredibly powerful and precise global positioning now available on most modern smartphones, it’s never been easier to locate a lost person. As long as a senior citizen has a smartphone on them at all times, they can be tracked and traced, which is particularly helpful for those suffering from dementia, who are more likely to wander.
Smartphone/Tablet Apps – Speaking of smartphones, whilst it’s understandable that seniors might have had a problem with the first generation of pocket computers, modern phones are incredibly easy to use, with a number of medical apps that can monitor heart rates, make doctors appointments, set reminders and more. Certain apps can even link directly to their local GP or family members. The sheer amount of leisure activities that can be controlled and enjoyed from a smartphone is also a strong reason why all senior citizens should consider investing one.
Mobility Scooters – Once seen as a rather cumbersome and unremarkable machine, mobility solutions for the elderly have improved immeasurably in recent years. As tech has improved, mobility scooters have gotten smaller, to the extent that you can now buy models that you can fold and carry or store in the boot of your car!
Fitness – One of the most common hobbies associated with elderly retirees is keeping in shape and there are countless modern technologies that have been developed to help them do just that. From Fitbit watches that track your heart rate and your daily step counts/calories burned to patches and implants that help those suffering from diabetes and similar afflictions to check their glucose levels by simply waving a sensor instead of having to sort out a blood test kit.
Virtual Assistants – We might be many years away from actually physical robotic assistants (unless you’re Bill Gates, of course), but voice-activated smart assistants have become a legitimate part of the cultural zeitgeist in recent years. Google Home and Amazon Alexa are just two examples of platforms that can be completely controlled by the human voice and can be set to do everything from control the lighting/heating to changing the channel on the TV and even opening the door!
Smart Cars – Uber has become a global phenomenon since it launched and with good reason. The taxi app has revolutionised the way people call for lifts and for elderly people who might otherwise have to rely on inconsistent bus services to help them get around, apps like Uber and Lyft have surely proven to be life-savers.
Social Media – Finally, one of the largest problems affecting the elderly currently is loneliness. This is why social media for the elderly (for all of its faults) has been so widely embraced. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with old friends and even make new ones. Just make sure you don’t get addicted to Instagramming pictures your grandchildren!