Senior citizens living in the modern world had to adapt to massive technological changes during their lifetimes. This came in the form of PCs to ATMs, to smartphones. It is expected that by 2029 the younger baby boomers from the U.S. will turn 65 thereby making an entire generation of people becoming senior citizens. However, rather than becoming stereotypes of older people that are always resistant to modern technology, one of the studies has indicated that more than 90% of people over the age of 50 have a computer and more than 75% have a smartphone. Senior citizens are not tech-phobic as they are made out to be.
Remaining independent indefinitely
Most Americans over the age of 50 will prefer to age in their current homes however, just 46% of them believe that they will be able to. The technology solutions designed to help adults in their aging process are looking to make day-to-day life simpler by getting rid of all the obstacles or automating the household tasks that these senior citizens may find tough to handle with age. For instance, some smart appliances that run errands such as smart refrigerators can track when your groceries are running low. You can also use virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home that have voice-command capabilities that will be useful for senior citizens. Suppose you are in a wheelchair. It will be a lot more difficult to access the conventionally placed light switches. A voice-based virtual assistant can be valuable in these circumstances.
Automation and smart devices are helpful to the senior citizen to add safety measures. For example, by using smart gloves and an oven, there is no need to worry about burning down a house if they forget about turning off the kitchen appliances. The programmable thermostats are also useful to make sure that the elderly people are staying safe at home notwithstanding the weather outside. This is more than just the comfort issue. Elderly people are prone to losing body heat quickly, resulting in hypothermia before they realize that it is chilly. Some tech items are helpful for faraway family members to track the parents and other elderly relatives. You can use home security systems together with motion-activated sensors and cameras to keep a close eye on loved ones.
Using digital technology for real-world connection
Being connected with the community and family members is one of the top concerns for aging adults. Being connected socially has a significant impact on the overall health of the senior citizen. Using tabs or smartphones is a valuable link to being connected with loved ones. Virtual reality is useful for taking the communal experience to another level. It allows the users to meet and submerge themselves in similar environments. Some virtual reality platforms allow inter-generational connections asking family members from everywhere to join in a single living room. Participants can watch a movie together or pursue family photographs and videos from the virtual walls and they can get into large file transfers as well.
Taking senior citizen into consideration while designing
Due to the aging adults’ growing population, product designers and tech organizations have received a wake-up call to cater to their needs. A lot of technology has been designed without considering the requirements of senior citizens such as smartphones. They have a small screen with small print and icons making it difficult for the elderly. Businesses are working on changing this to develop more products that will cater to this massive sector. Sharp color contrast, larger print, and larger icons are some of the considerations these companies are using for designing suitable products for senior citizens.
Using modern technology allows older people an opportunity to experience newer activities and locations that are otherwise inaccessible. Some of these tech platforms are used by the residents of assisted living facilities and other such institutions such as those serving people with ailments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By using simulated experiences, they can select from a range of activities such as scuba diving or skydiving as well. It provides a sense of independence and freedom despite having limited mobility.