While the majority of young people find it easy to use modern technology because they have grown up using it, older generations are generally less inclined to use modern technology. It can be hard for some of us to see the benefits of technology, especially if we’ve never used the internet or a smartphone before.
Alongside the internet and mobile devices, health and mobility technology for elderly people has also improved dramatically over the past decade. Lifeline alarms are a great example.
When it comes to modern technology for older people, the internet might seem like a daunting place to start. However, an understanding of the internet can make such a difference to your life. The worldwide web is still relatively young, which means older people haven’t had the chance to grow up with it the way younger generations have.
The internet opens up a whole range of opportunities for older people. With an internet connection you can:
- Order your weekly shop to your front door.
- Video chat with your friends and family.
- Share updates and photographs on social media websites.
- Play games with friends, keeping your brain active in the process.
- Organise your bills and bank accounts.
- Watch TV shows and movies through streaming services.
The internet can help to prevent boredom, keep you connected with friends and family, and help you to stay organised. To make the most of your internet connection, it’s worth checking your current broadband speed. A faster connection will let you see videos and images in better quality. It will also reduce the time you spend waiting for web pages to load. There are many websites you can use to test the speed of your internet connection. The one we favour is: https://broadbandspeedtest.ie/ Internet speed is measures in megabits per second (mbps): a decent speed is around 50 – 80 mbps, anything greater than that is really good !
Some people have concerns about the security of the internet. While it is definitely wise to keep security in mind, this shouldn’t be a barrier to the worldwide web.
Mobile phone technology is becoming more important for older people as society moves away from traditional landline phone connections. Despite what you may assume, mobile phones and smartphones need not be complicated.
If you don’t want all the bells and whistles of high-tech smartphones, go for a simple handset. There are plenty of devices that have been designed specifically for elderly people. The most common type is the big button phone. There’s nothing fancy about these phones. They have big buttons, making them easier to use for people with arthritis or sight issues, and clear bright screens with big font sizes. Other simple mobiles include useful accessories such as a torch.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to make the most of modern technology, it may be worth buying a smartphone. These devices allow you to download a range of great apps to help you stay safe, entertained, and connected to your friends and family. ‘App’ is short for application, which is a kind of computer program. Essentially, apps give people access to information or games without having to visit a website. This makes the process simpler and quicker.
Your family or friends will certainly be happy to teach you how to get to grips with a smartphone. There are also online guides to help you understand your new phone. Have a quick search on Google or YouTube to find helpful tutorials.
Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, touchscreen tablets have become very common. Tablets are essentially a midpoint between laptops and mobile phones. They have been designed so that you can pick them up and surf the internet in seconds. No more waiting for your laptop or PC to start. No more having to sit with a heavy laptop overheating on your knees.
Most tablets look similar to their mobile phone siblings, whether they are based on the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy. Some tablets even come with a detachable keyboard, just in case you’re uncomfortable using the touch screen. You can also buy special pens to use instead of your fingers if you wish. Some of the benefits of owning a tablet include:
- Bigger Screens – Perfect if you have any vision issues.
- Amazing Apps – You can watch movies, play games, and chat with friends over a video call – all from the comfort of your sofa.
- Affordable – Tablets are generally cheaper than laptops and desktop computers.
- Great for Gaming – Through the app store you can download and play many games with your friends.
- Mobility – Tablets don’t weigh much and they are a decent size, making them incredibly portable.
The software on most tablets is simple to use and to understand. In fact, if you already own a mobile phone from the same company, you probably won’t even need to look at any instructions.
Staying fit and healthy is very important, no matter your age. However, staying active is especially important for older people. After all, the healthier you are, the more chance you have of avoiding common medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Modern technology can help older people here too. There are now various fitness devices that can help you monitor your daily activity and track your progress. Fitness trackers are worn around the wrist like a watch or a Lifeline pendant and will monitor your activity throughout the day.
Most fitness devices can track the following:
- Daily steps.
- Calories burned.
- Heart rate.
- Sleeping patterns.
There are countless apps available on both the Android and Apple marketplace. Common types of apps include:
- News Apps – All major newspapers and TV news outlets have apps to help break news stories quicker and to help you find the news you’re looking for.
- Weather Apps – It’s always good to have the forecast at a click of a button.
- Games – There are so many games to choose from. Playing games will prevent boredom and help you keep your brain active.
- Social Media – Stay in touch with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, or Zoom.
- Shopping – More and more high street shops now have their own apps. This makes it even quicker to place an order without leaving home.
- Music, Film & TV – There are plenty of streaming apps to choose from. Streaming is a way of transmitting data from the internet directly onto your device without needing to download it. Popular examples include RTE player, Netflix, and Spotify.
Apps can make life much easier, but they are also great for your safety. There are many apps designed specifically to help older people stay safe at home. There are various healthcare apps that can help you manage your medication. You can set alarms that make a sound and tell you which part of your medication you need to take throughout the day.
There is a huge marketplace for health and mobility technology for older people. For example, look no further than our life-saving personal alarm systems. Our service allows older people and disabled people to continue living independently in the comfort of their own homes.
By wearing a Lifeline pendant around your neck or wrist, you are ensuring that you can get help immediately if you feel unwell or suffer a fall. We recommend Tunstall emergency response, based in Co Wexford https://tunstallemergencyresponse.ie/about-us/
Health monitoring can also be very reassuring for lots of older people. For example, people who have suffered from heart problems can have a heart rate and/or blood pressure monitor in their home. This piece of technology can take heart rate and blood pressure measurements so that you, your family, and your carers/doctors can check on your condition.
Some other great examples of mobility technology for older people include:
- Stairlifts – Stairlifts help you get up and down the stairs with ease, without the risk of falling. Installing a stairlift is a great way of staying safe at home.
- Scooters – Mobility scooters are great for people who struggle to walk long distances. A scooter is ideal if you have arthritis, osteoporosis, or Paget’s disease of bone. Most scooters also come with a basket for you to store your shopping bags.
- Electric Wheelchairs – Alternatively you can purchase an electric wheelchair in order to get around. By having an electric wheelchair you don’t have to waste energy wheeling yourself, nor do you require somebody to push you. This gives you more independence.