Technology plays a vital role in every aspect of society. Thanks to technology, people tend to enjoy longer, healthier, more prosperous lives than ever before. From lowering the cost of goods by increasing productivity, to fostering future innovations, technology is a powerful influence on our lives. It follows that technology can also play a vital role in improving the quality of life of seniors.
Research published in the National Library of Medicine found that active and frequent use of social technology led to fewer chronic illnesses and depression symptoms in older adults. Tech-enabled seniors also reported that they experienced better overall health. The study concluded that close relationships are a major determinant of mental and physical health, and technology seems to be a factor that enables seniors to cultivate stronger relationships.
Tech Has Profoundly Shrunk the World
In 1872, author Jules Verne published his novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days,” which chronicled an audacious attempt to circumnavigate the globe in—what was then—a period of time deemed impossible. Today, you could travel across the globe in a day or two. And communicating with someone on the other side of the world can regularly be done quickly and easily.
What’s technologically possible for the average person is no less possible for older adults. Adult children of senior citizens are often busy with their career, children, and other personal endeavors, and as a result, career-aged adult kids may not be able to visit their elderly loved ones as much as they, or the senior, would want. But with Zoom and other video chat programs, it’s far easier to connect. And the quality of the connection—with the ability to see each other face-to-face and eye-to-eye—is vastly superior to anything that was widely available in the past.
Mobility issues can also make it harder for seniors to make friends and form relationships. Tech solutions can help bring people together, albeit virtually, thereby minimizing the impact of mobility constraints for most seniors. Senior citizens are even using apps and devices to find love. Recent studies show that online dating is increasingly popular among older adults.
Technology can also help elderly family members stave off boredom. From joining online book clubs to streaming movies, the World Wide Web is rife with unique opportunities that can be as entertaining as they are inexpensive. Whether listening to classical music, exploring a new hobby, or participating in an online class, the internet is a powerful resource for seniors.
Seniors Love These Online Communities
Facebook is the largest social network in the world and is great for seniors looking to keep in touch with friends and family. Through Facebook, family members can easily share photos and memories. But when it comes to seniors and the world of social networking, Facebook is hardly the only game in town.
Nextdoor is a useful site for keeping in touch with neighbors, following neighborhood news, and monitoring local issues. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also offers a variety of online resources, including multiplayer games like Bridge. SeniorNet.Com and Buzz50 support chatrooms and forums centered around various topics of interest for seniors.
There are many more apps, sites, and opportunities. What’s important is helping your loved ones learn what works best for them.
Discussing Technology with Wellness Experts
If you’re looking into retirement communities or nursing homes, or general healthcare services for senior citizens, it’s wise to consult with experts about the technology options available in various environments. Not only can technology improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life, through increased and improved social engagement, the right technologies could also improve their overall health. At AgeWell Cincinnati, we are dedicated to providing resources and services for aging well in Jewish Cincinnati. To learn more, visit us online or give us a call at 513-766-3333.