Technology permeates our lives today now more than ever. Everyone is connected by their phones, tablets or computers, but often, seniors get left behind. In many cases, this is because seniors may have trouble with technology, and have difficulty adapting to a quickly evolving field. But it’s not impossible, and being able to use the new technology has a variety of benefits for seniors in their lives.
Improving Overall Quality of Life
Knowing how to use new technology can help seniors feel more independent and less like they have to rely on others. Many seniors would like to get on the internet, but are not sure how to do so, or are apprehensive about their ability to learn.
Many independent living and assisted living communities are incorporating new technology into their facilities. As a result, residents are getting access to the internet that allows them to stay connected to their loved ones.
Helping to Improve Mental Skills
Just like our bodies, our brains need to be exercised. New technology like tablets allow seniors to install applications, or “apps,” that help improve, or “train,” brains, which in turn encourages:
- Socialization between residents
- Memories through music
- Resident creativity
However, it’s not a good idea to become dependent on apps when accessing the internet. Learning a new skill is still the best way to keep a mind sharp. The general rule is that the harder the task that you learn, the greater the benefits.
Staying Connected with Others
Perhaps the leading reason seniors take up new technology is to stay connected to their loved ones via email or video messaging services like Skype. Their adult children may live far away or cannot visit them personally, so it is a way for them to keep in contact.
New technology can also help seniors stay connected to each other. Seniors who are more tech-savvy can help their peers learn how to use new technology. Both parties benefit from this interaction—the mentee learns a new skill, and the mentor learns how to effectively teach and reinforce their tech knowledge.