An article by Karen Weeks from Elder Wellness
Technology has come so far in the last few decades. The newest devices have the ability to connect and power our lives like never before. If you are an older adult, however, using the latest tech can feel a bit uncomfortable. In fact, recent polls show that nearly a third of seniors do not even use the internet, and much of that is due to anxiety around learning too complicated devices. Still, tech can bring some much-needed benefits for seniors while helping them save money, so it’s important to know which tech to choose for older adults. That’s where the following budget-friendly tech tips can come in handy for seniors and their caregivers.
Invest in Affordable Tech Products Seniors Can Really Use
For younger generations, using a laptop can feel like second-nature. It’s important to remember that these generations have grown up with tech, but seniors may need simpler features to comfortably use the same devices. For example, if you are looking to buy a laptop or tablet, it’s best to look for an option that has the basic features needed, without any added complications that will only confuse less tech-savvy seniors. Key features to keep in mind include a large screen, a device that’s easy to hold, and functions that are simple to perform. The good news is there really are a lot of senior-friendly laptops and other tech on the market. You just have to know what to look for, and you also need to know how to use online tools to research discounts for a laptop or tablet. For example, you can start by looking for Lenovo coupons and promo codes to find a tablet or laptop that’s just as friendly to your budget.
Look for Tech Solutions That Can Help Seniors Age in Place
By having access to the internet and easy-to-use devices, seniors can feel more connected to the world and also stay connected to family. That can make aging in place more comfortable for seniors and also make life less stressful for family caregivers. Aside from laptops and tablets, though, there are also other simple and affordable smart tech gadgets that can make it easier for seniors to age in place in their own homes. Seniors are increasingly investing in smart home assistants, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, in order to simplify their daily routine and even feel a little less lonely. Once these devices are set up, seniors can easily control them with their voice or a smartphone, and can use them to access helpful information for everything from the weather to daily pill reminders. Of course, installation can be a bit too complex for many seniors, so hiring a professional may be the best choice for ensuring that smart hubs and virtual assistants are set up correctly.
At The Very Least, Ensure Seniors Have Tech to Keep Them Safe
Despite the benefits of technology, many seniors simply do not see the need for tech in their lives. If you are a senior who would rather live without high tech devices, or if a senior loved one refuses to adopt the latest devices, that’s okay. While more advanced gadgets can make life easier and safer, it is possible to live without them. What’s not wise, however, is for seniors to avoid all tech, especially cell phones. Access to phones is crucial for senior welfare and wellness, and your loved one doesn’t have to spend too much to reap the benefits. Cell phones have the most features to keep seniors connected and can also be a good way to reach emergency services, but even these devices may be too complicated for many older adults. Cell phones can also be easily misplaced, but landlines are not always reliable either. So if you are faced with a senior family member who is not the best at keeping up with a cell phone, you may want to research budget-friendly medical alert systems or other devices that require even less effort to use.
Like many of us, seniors can have a love/hate relationship with technology. If you’re a senior who wants to explore the benefits without the stress, just look for tech that is affordable and super simple to use. Regardless of love/hate, though, just make sure you have the right tech tools to keep you safe.