Mobile Technology Use With Seniors – 4 Key Areas

August 9, 2013

By 2030 it’s projected that nearly 20% of the United States will be over the age of 65. As this demographic shift occurs, mobile technology will advance alongside those growing older. The market-created call for seniors to embrace mobile technology for health and safety is undoubtedly there though there is question about whether the call is based on truth or founded on fear.

Senior with TabletHere are four areas in which mobile technology is being sold to seniors, and information about whether or not such gadget-based remedies have unique benefits:

Monitoring

Mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets (mHealth devices) offer avenues in which self-monitoring can take place on-the-go. Seniors can check blood pressure or blood sugar, and stay on top of other such important information about one’s health. It will make it well worth having to get used to working a touchscreen. However, there’s no reason to invest in multiple monitoring systems when a single mobile device is certain to someday be able to do it all.

Communication

As people get older, the likelihood that they need personal assistance with everyday activities increases. Yet, many seniors refuse such help or simply cannot afford it. If they fall, when alone at home, it could be days before someone realizes what happened. If an older person with dementia wanders off from family during a picnic, the consequences could be tragic. Mobile technology, specifically hand-held devices small enough to be kept on one’s person at all times, will be important in preventing such easily avoidable tragedies.

Stimulation

Seniors who stay in contact with loved ones, perform puzzles, play games, and read, are more likely to have healthier minds for longer periods of time. Tablets grant access to all of these things and more, and are tactile and large enough for even the most feeble of users to master and enjoy. Seeing the laughing face of a grandchild half a world away can be priceless and keeping the elderly mind invigorated through mental exercise can also be of great value. With that said, someone does not need the most expensive tablet on the market to have access to video chat, games, and online reading material.

Information

Though many seniors may think they have it all figured out and that mobile technology has no purpose, someday soon, the information available online is going to become much more relevant to the here and now. For example, doctors may start to be able to advise seniors on what inclines to avoid instead of outlawing steps outright, thanks in part to the prevalence of mobile incline-detection technology available via smartphone app. There is little to argue against the usefulness of mobile information for seniors, especially when such information is free.

Conclusion

The American elderly population and mobile technology are advancing side-by-side. They are destined to intertwine, at least as far as the tech industry is concerned. However, that does not mean mobile technology’s role in the betterment of senior living is simply a marketing ploy. Its benefits are real, as described in the four areas in this blogpost.

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