Learn & Grow/Lifestyle/5 Ways Technology Is Changing Seniors’ Lives for the Better

5 Ways Technology Is Changing Seniors’ Lives for the Better

Technology is more ubiquitous and convenient for seniors than ever before due to the advent and popularity of smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. With access to a cellular network or internet connection, maintaining contact with friends and loved ones is fairly simple. Continue reading to learn how technology is helping seniors live more fulfilling lives by supporting connectivity, mental engagement, activity, comfort, security, and entertainment.

1. Enhanced Connectivity

Maintaining social connections and making friends are two actions thought to positively influence long-term health. Technology can be a powerful tool for nurturing these types of connections.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter), are all relatively easy to use once you get them installed on your smartphone or tablet. These social media sites allow you to connect with family and friends, while also keeping up with current events. At their best, these social media platforms can make you feel more connected with the world around you. Consider social media a supplement to your in-person interactions with friends and family.

Video social apps, such as Snapchat and TikTok, are also becoming more popular among older adults. One possible strategy for learning is to try out individual apps and find what works best for you. Video apps add another layer of connectedness beyond photo and text updates.

2. Mental Stimulation

According to Emory University, studies have shown that “engaging in challenging cognitive tasks can protect age-related declines in thinking.” Similar to how you train your muscles with exercise, certain mental stimulation can help keep your mind sharp and fight against cognitive decline.

There are a number of brain-training apps on the App Store and Google Play store that turn cognitive training and memory development into a daily game. You can also access traditional word and number puzzles, such as crossword and Sudoku online. Wordle is another popular word guessing game that rose in popularity and is now owned by The New York Times.

Online learning courses and online communities built around them present yet another opportunity to learn a new skill or hobby. You can search online about nearly any topic of interest and find more information. Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare are just a few examples of websites that support learning new skills online, oftentimes in exchange for a subscription.

In addition, sometimes certain hobbies or interests that are discovered online can be followed up on in real life settings, such as in senior living communities or other dedicated hobby spaces.

3. Increased Activity

Physical activity, including low-impact activities such as walking or cycling, is important for anyone who wants to maintain their mental and physical health for as long as possible. Regular activity can also help regulate mood and lower stress levels while preventing cognitive decline.

Many people find that it’s easier to workout when you have someone or something to hold you accountable. Smartwatches and fitness apps are among the latest technologies that help you set goals, track key health metrics, and stay on top of your daily or weekly workout routine.

Most modern wearable devices allow you to set personal fitness goals for yourself, such as total steps walked in a day, while also keeping track of your steps or workouts each day. Online, you can also find customized fitness programs that are specifically tailored toward older adults.

Remember to consult your primary care doctor or another physician before starting up any new fitness routine to avoid injury or any other issues, especially if it’s one you found online.

4. Comfort & Security

Smart home technology has the ability to make your life easier and more comfortable. This technology also delivers benefits for people with mobility issues or certain disabilities.

Voice assisted technology that controls lighting or certain appliances in the home are increasingly common. Typically you access these controls through some type of smart device resembling a portable speaker that you place in a central room in your home. Turning lights on and off without getting up is a luxury for some, but it’s also a gamechanger for those who may have difficulties navigating their home. These items do take a little more effort to set up and get working correctly, but once you do, they are fairly intuitive to use.

5. Entertainment

Another simple—yet often overlooked—way technology is improving people’s lives for the better is by eliminating boredom. Technology provides us with a near endless amount of entertainment.

Smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and other streaming devices, make accessing entertainment old and new, fairly straightforward. Whether you’re looking to stream classic shows or films, or the latest releases, it’s all available online at subscription or a la carte pricing.

Online gaming is more popular than ever across all age groups and it can be a great way to connect with a grandchild, in addition to passing the time and sharpening your reflexes. Online gaming is also another way to find community and interact with others across generations.

Music streaming services, such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Spotify, provide access to the complete discographies of artists new and old. Many of these services also include access to curated playlists, typically in exchange for some sort of online account or subscription fee.

Connect, Learn & Thrive at Friendship Village of South Hills

Friendship Village of South Hills is a sophisticated senior living community where many of our residents are curious to learn more about the latest technology and other innovations. We occasionally host educational sessions on how to use various technologies, and it’s also common for residents in our community to start their own groups to learn new skills.

Contact us to learn more about how you can thrive at Friendship Village of South Hills.

Related Stories