In an incredibly short time span, our world has almost entirely gone from analog to digital. Since the introduction of smartphones, tablets, and other devices in our web-dominated world, older adults have joined their younger counterparts in adopting the digital revolution. A study from the Pew Research Center reports that in 2012, only 13% of adults 65 and older owned a smartphone. In 2021, that number jumped to 61%. For tablet devices like an iPad, only 6% of seniors reported owning one in 2012, compared to 44% in 2021.
As older adults continue to embrace technology, the benefits of it become clearer, and the wide variety of devices and apps, and other ways to connect grows even wider. It’s part of the reason why at Grace Ridge, we encourage residents to learn and use technology to enhance their quality of life. Our Grace Ridge University, which promotes lifelong learning in all capacities, includes a dedicated technology assistance program led by residents to help their neighbors better understand electronic devices and digital programs, apps. Here, we’ll take a deep dive into the best mobile apps and best devices for seniors to consider, and how using these options can enrich their lives.
Best Technology for Seniors
There are millions of mobile apps available for use today on almost any smartphone, and they become more and more specialized and innovative as demand drives the app market. Many apps and devices are designed specifically to make seniors’ lives easier. These are the top new ones to think about:
Amazon Echo Dot
– The Amazon Echo Dot is an incredibly handy smart speaker for seniors that uses Amazon’s Alexa technology. Think of Alexa as a voice-activated personal assistant, who can set reminders, read the news, play music, call loved ones, make lists, and a multitude of other things just by asking. The Echo Dot is a small travel-sized device that can be tucked away anywhere around the house with ease.
– A Fitbit smartwatch is a valuable tool seniors can use to continuously monitor their health. The newest version, the Versa 3, includes a heart-rate tracker, oxygen saturation monitor, and breathing monitor. Plus, you can access other apps from it. Check weather, pay bills, edit your calendar, and more all from your wrist.
– The GrandPad is one of the first tablet devices designed specifically for seniors. It’s an easy-to-use piece of digital technology for seniors that allows even the most tech-novice people to video chat with friends and family, play games, check email, manage photos, and more. The GrandPad requires users to pay for their subscription service, which includes device insurance, internet connection, and its own private family network, ensuring your messages, photos and data are always secure. One of the best parts about the GrandPad is that there are no passwords to remember or extra steps to fully use the device.
– Staying connected with friends and family is a vital part of healthy aging. Thanks to the advent of social media, it’s never been easier to keep in touch with those we love. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are excellent ways to not only talk with those you know, but also to stay updated on current events.
– Among the greatest benefits of technology for seniors is the ability to manage medications more easily and effectively. Apps like Medisafe are useful tools to help remind seniors to take their medications on time, refill prescriptions, check to see if they might have missed a dose, and more. All users need to do is input prescriptions and medication schedules, then Medisafe creates a visual schedule complete with images of pills and lists of harmful interactions to ensure each medication is safely taken as prescribed.
– As wonderful as digital technology is today, the sheer number of passwords and logins to remember can be daunting, especially for older adults. Apps like LastPass offer the perfect solution. LastPass remembers all your passwords, so you don’t have to. The app securely stores your information after you enter your password just one time, protecting you from the headache of forgetting your passwords as well as protecting your identity online.
– Books on tape are nothing new, but Audible is the next level of listening on the go. The app, created by Amazon, allows users to browse and purchase thousands of audio books, save purchased books to your library, and even share reviews with friends and family. It’s perfect for seniors who love to read but are always on the move, as it’s easily downloadable from any mobile device.
Embracing Technology for Seniors at Grace Ridge
Here at Grace Ridge, our mission is to help residents enjoy a full, active, connected retirement lifestyle. Technology plays a big role in that mission, especially when it comes to lifelong learning. Our senior living community in Morganton, NC. is committed to helping seniors use technology to make their lives easier and more fun — Grace Ridge University being a prime example. To learn more about the Grace Ridge lifestyle, meet our people, and schedule your tour, contact us today through our website.