There is a common canard that older people don’t like modern technology. In some cases it’s true, but for many people the latest gadgets and computers can provide benefits that improve lives and make a big difference to health and wellbeing. Here are just a few of the technologies that you might buy for an elderly relative, to enable them to stay independent and make the most of their retirement years.
1. The Nintendo Wii
2. Tablet Computers
Like the Nintendo Wii, tablet computers are known for being intuitive. These touch-screen devices have no complicated controls, and appeal to our natural instincts to poke, prod, tap and hit in order to get a response. As these behaviours are so natural, all ages from a young baby to an older person can pick up a table computer and make it work. Understanding the more advanced apps may be out of reach of the average consumer, but there are apps for all ages and abilities.
3. GPS Tracking Devices
If an older person has memory loss or dementia, a GPS tracking device (typically a wristband) can be a beneficial purchase. Should a relative wander off and lose their way, you can find them by looking online for their location.
For those that want to keep a close eye on an older relative, webcams can provide live images that can be viewed using a smartphone or web browser. There may be privacy issues surrounding the installation and viewing of webcams, but with agreement they provide reassurance for everyone.
5. Large Button Phones
You can buy mobile phones with very large buttons and easy to read screens, ideal for those that struggle with their fine motor skills or have vision complications. These mobile phones are available at relatively low prices, without the fancy (and often confusing) features of modern smartphones.
6. Social Media
Old age brings social challenges. Older people may find it harder to get out and about, may struggle to make friends and might, unfortunately, lose friends that they’ve had for a long time. Studies show that social and mental wellbeing can directly impact physical health, but even if you don’t consider the link being physical and mental health it’s impossible to deny the importance of good mental health on its own. Fortunately, the World Wide Web makes it easier than ever to enjoy a full social life – more and more older and retired people are turning to sites like Facebook and Twitter to widen their social circles and to enjoy chats with friends and complete strangers. Why not help your older relative to create and use their own Twitter account?
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