From memory lapses to poor physical fitness, aging comes with a slew of health challenges. These challenges can impede the ability of elderly loved ones to function on their own in a healthy manner.
Apart from medical care from qualified professionals, there are several technology tips you can apply to ensure that older loved ones continue to live healthy and happy lives. Here are some good apps, devices, and resources to help your elderly loved ones stay healthy and safe.
1. Recommend Brain-Stimulating Apps
Some of the most common challenges of aging include deteriorating memory and other mental faculties. When someone’s memory begins to decline, their mind isn’t as sharp as it needs to be to go through normal day-to-day activities. You can help older loved ones stay sharp and retain much of their focus using memory and focus training apps.
Two great options are Lumosity and CogniFit Test and Brain Games. Both apps are feature-packed and filled with games of different complexities aimed at keeping players active and sharp. The features are particularly great for elders and are tailored to each individual’s profile with an option to track progress. Feel free to pick more apps from this larger list of brain-training apps to develop a sharper mind.
2. Get Elders a Medication Reminder App
Whether your loved one takes medication for an ailment or supplements to keep them in top shape, the forgetfulness that often accompanies old age may affect their ability to take their medications on time.
The solution is a medication reminder app. The aptly named Pill Reminder app and MediSafe are two popular options for iOS devices. Meanwhile, Dosecast, My Therapy Pill Reminder, and Alarm and Pill Reminder are popular options for Android.
3. Embrace Online Health Resources
There is a wealth of useful online resources that can augment the health information that seniors get from their healthcare providers. While the information you get online should not be treated as qualified medical advice, it still represents an incredibly useful resource to stay informed of important health tips.
Trusted websites for sourcing reliable medical information include the following:
If you’d prefer to have direct interaction with medical personnel, here are some of the best health forums for online expert support. These resources can help seniors understand why they feel the way they do, and you’ll also have an informed insight into what’s going on in their lives.
4. Set Up Online Grocery and Meal Delivery
Seniors may not be able to safely traverse several physical stores for groceries on their own. Even when they choose to shop online, it can be a bit tedious for them. Setting up an online grocery delivery service ensures that your loved ones have access to healthy food and can get their groceries when they’re needed.
Although the availability of online grocery delivery services differs from place to place, big players like the following are good options with wide coverage, especially within North American cities:
5. Use Location Sharing and Smart Trackers to Keep Track of Loved Ones and Their Things
If you have elderly relatives that are at risk of getting lost or prone to wandering off, ask them to share the location of their smartphone or a GPS-enabled fitness tracker, such as an Apple Watch. The Find My app on iOS and other similar friend-finding apps can give you peace of mind as you’ll be able to see where your loved one is in real time.
Meanwhile, if they have a tendency to misplace their purse, wallet, or other important items, gift them an Apple AirTag or similar Bluetooth tracker. With just a $30 AirTag, you can leverage Apple’s impressive Find My network to track down a tagged item almost anywhere in the world. AirTags are small enough that they can put one in a bag, wallet, keychain, or any object your elderly relative carries around often.
6. Introduce Elderly Loved Ones to Virtual Reality
VR is an underused technology in the field of elder care. Its immersive nature means you can help your elderly loved ones “virtually” participate in activities in which they might not otherwise be able to safely take part. Think of those fishing, driving, or high-intensity activities they might be yearning for but unable to do in the real world.
Virtual Reality can bridge the gap and help older loved ones feel happy and fulfilled. The best part is that these activities will be nearly as stimulating as the real thing. It’s a great way to help someone take part in exercises, meditation, and other fun-filled activities.
Social media might have a bad reputation, but it’s still an important tool to help people connect with friends and family. Maintaining close relationships can help older loved ones fend off loneliness and depression that are all too common among seniors. Facebook is still a great place to start, and some loved ones might also become interested in creativity-focused sites like Pinterest.
Avoid social media sites that have a disproportionate amount of toxicity, are too argumentative, or might expose seniors to any form of traumatic media. These could be counterproductive and could have a serious effect on their health.
8. Install Fitness Apps to Help Seniors Exercise Safely
Staying physically active is critical to seniors’ overall health. You might not always be there to guide them through suitable exercises, but technology could be of great help. However, not all types of exercises are suitable for seniors. Most seniors are better off doing low-intensity exercises with easy-to-perform routines.
Senior Fitness and Sitting Cardio apps are two good senior-friendly fitness apps for Android. Similarly, the Over Fifty Fitness app is a great option for iOS users. Feel free to check out this list of the best fitness apps for seniors to find what will work best for your loved ones.
9. Encourage the Use of Wearable Fitness Devices
Wearable devices like Apple Watch and Google’s Fitbit aren’t just trendy technology for young people. They can be very pivotal in helping seniors live healthier, happier lives.
With features like a heart rate sensor, fall detection, blood oxygen level detection, temperature sensor, and a slew of workout apps, the Apple Watch Series 8 is an incredibly useful example of a tool for helping seniors stay on top of their health information. An Apple Watch can help elders prioritize their sleep and get timely alerts on their health status, which you can also access or share with care providers when necessary.
Help Seniors Get the Care They Deserve
Old age shouldn’t be littered with limitations, especially when technology has availed us of the tools to make the best out of this phase of life. While your older loved ones might need more support than they used to, helping them effectively utilize health-related technology can help them enjoy a full and healthy life with a bit more independence, along with more peace of mind for you.