For some seniors, using technology available to them today can seem stressful and overwhelming, or far too confusing and complicated to invest any time into. However, the use of technology by adults aged 65 and older is actually increasing and changing the way we age. Your fears of learning how to use technology can be easily eliminated with a tutorial from your grandchildren or a tech-savvy caregiver.
The benefits of learning how to use computers and embracing technology far outweigh the reasons to ignore them. Technology for seniors has offered new ways to stay connected socially as well as maintaining good physical and mental well-being.
• Social Connection: While technology can’t replace in-person interaction, having a computer with internet access is an important tool to help you keep in touch with family or friends on a regular basis. Seniors can be at risk for social isolation which can lead to depression and dangerous health issues, so the ability to stay connected with others through social media, email or video-chat services like Skype is vital. This technology helps supplement interaction when visits with friends or family is difficult because of loved ones living in different geographical locations. Get more “face time” with those you care about by taking advantage of these new technologies for seniors.
• Physical and Mental Well-Being: Video games help get the mind and body moving and can offer the added benefit of social interaction when utilized in a group setting. Using a game console like Nintendo’s Wii system allows you to engage in light physical activity with others. Non-physical video games provide mental exercise through memory or trivia games.
Along with these benefits, simply just searching on the internet can stimulate the brain. A recent study shows internet usage also can reduce symptoms of depression and can improve overall mental well-being.
At Lourdes-Noreen McKeen, our residents have already recognized the benefits of technology for seniors. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the common areas that allow residents to access the internet and keep in touch via email or Skype with loved ones. Many communities also have video game consoles for the exercise and social benefits they offer.
Students from local schools also frequently visit the Lourdes-Noreen McKeen Residence to provide onsite training for the residents with their computers, iPads and cell phones.
The rewards of being technologically savvy in your older years may require some patience and learning on your part, but technology is nothing to be afraid of! The rewards are well worth the effort you put into it.
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