Technology

In today’s modern and tech-savvy world, more and more people are embracing technology, seniors included. Close to 70 percent of the elderly are now connected to the internet. Undeniably, technology for seniors is growing in popularity and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Nowadays, tech devices have become an integral part of the daily life of most seniors. These ingenious technologies have allowed them to move around, connect with loved ones, and live healthier, fulfilling, and more connected lives.

Invaluable Tech Solutions for Seniors

From managing medications and sleep to assistance with day-to-day life, here are some of the most innovative technologies that have made life easier for seniors:

A photo of a phone, headphones, and a watch.

Hero Digital Pill Dispenser

Hero digital pill dispenser is designed to dispense a senior’s medication at a scheduled time each day. The Hero digital pill dispenser can hold up to 10 different kinds of pills of various shapes and sizes. It can also be tailored to any medication schedule.

The digital pill dispenser can store up to 90 days of medication supply, depending on the pill’s size. This digital pill dispenser is also connected to the Hero app, which tracks the pills’ consumption and doses.

The Hero digital pill dispenser won’t accept half pills, gummies, and sticky dissoluble pills to avoid contamination.

Additional Features

  • 30-day free trial
  • Password protected
  • HIPAA-compliant security for all data
  • Free shipping and returns
  • Notifications (when medication is low)
  • Free software update

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

This smart and compact speaker has many senior-friendly abilities and features. Apart from being voice-activated, it is also small, so they can take it anywhere. This imaginative device can also be used to:

  • Stream music
  • Play games
  • Check the weather
  • Receive news updates
  • Set alarms for medications
  • Chat
  • Create grocery lists

When set up to guard the home, this additional feature included in the Alexa app provides seniors alerts about smoke alarms, broken glass, and carbon monoxide.

Additional Features

  • Hands-free calls
  • Privacy Protection
  • Voice control (turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and lock doors)

COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones

If your senior loved one has hearing loss, the COWIN E7 can be a great option. Its advanced active noise reduction technology is designed to cancel lower frequencies. This gives them the ultimate listening experience when they listen to their favorite music or podcasts or watching their favorite movies.

COWIN E7 also comes with Bluetooth technology that makes hands-free listening possible.

Additional Features

  • 30-hour battery life
  • High-quality built-in microphone
  • 90 degrees swiveling ear cups
  • Professional padding
Elderly woman wearing headphones and using a cell phone

GrandPad

This easy-to-use tablet is designed primarily for seniors and comes with built-in wireless data. It allows them to listen to music, video chat with their loved ones, and play games with the utmost ease.

This breakthrough technology also allows seniors access to their own private family network where approved friends and loved ones can update contact information and add photos.

The GrandPad is also a practical gift for seniors who are not tech-savvy since it won’t require passwords and won’t need any modem.

Additional Features

  • Unlimited support team access
  • Safe from spams and scams
  • Has enlarged text for easy reading
  • Sends voice-automated emails

Tile Sticker

Seniors who always lose everyday items would sure love Tile Sticker. Tile Sticker is placed on wallets, keys, remotes, and other things that can easily be misplaced. When seniors need to find their lost items, they need to use the company’s app on their phones to locate them.

The Tile Sticker has a Pro version that’s recommended for valuable items. It comes with a Bluetooth range of 400 feet.

Additional Features

  • 3-year battery life
  • Free shipping
  • 30-day guarantee
  • Waterproof

Fitbit Versa 2

The Fitbit Versa 2 is a health manager and versatile watch rolled into one. It comes with a heart-rate tracker and provides easy access to information and apps. You can also use it to listen to unlimited music on Spotify, track the weather, and set alarms. What’s even impressive? They can use it to pay the bills while on the go.

Additional Features

  • Personalized clock face
  • Fitbit pay
  • Sleep tracker
  • 24/7 heart rate tracking
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring designs doorbell camera systems that provide notifications to smartphones in real-time when motion sensors are triggered or when visitors ring the doorbell. This product will not only help ensure their safety, it can also help make life easy for seniors.

With the Ring Video Doorbell, they can speak to visitors anytime and anywhere. The device can also be used to monitor the doors around the home. Custom motion settings can be set. Safety and crime alerts can also be sent directly to a smartphone.

Additional Features

  • Advanced motion settings
  • 1080 HD video and two-way talk
  • Night vision

Conclusion

It is reassuring to know that many innovative technologies are now available to help make life easy for seniors. While some technologies require some getting used to, they are a massive step in the right direction for improving their quality of life.

Melissa Andrews - Paradise Living Centers

About the Author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

Senior Financial Literacy

In 2004, the American Society on Aging sponsored a study to test the financial knowledge of Americans age 50+. This included a survey of three simple yes/no questions that assessed the knowledge of the respondents on concepts such as inflation, risk diversification, and interest rates. At that time only one-third of respondents could answer all three questions correctly.*

Since 2009, broader studies have been made within the wider population and the results were similarly dismal. However, there was a clear correlation between age and a failure to understand some basic financial concepts that make up financial literacy. This is especially worrisome given that money and debt management issues are most consequential to seniors.

This may seem an overwhelming topic to tackle for a senior or their family. While getting sound financial advice is one of the first things most money professionals recommend, that can be easier said than done. Many older adults rely on the advice of relatives, friends or neighbors. Yet, this is a strategy that as many as 70 percent of fraud victims report having used. Become more informed and consider learning more from an accredited Financial Advisor. These are the best first steps to improve one’s financial literacy. One online resource for understanding some of the basics is ConsumerCredit.com. This site offers useful tools designed for the 50+ population.

Here are several topics which seniors and their families may wish to consider when evaluating their financial health.

Know where your money is going Do you know where your money is going?

Based on a 2014 survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, over 60% of Americans don’t have a budget. This is the first place to start in developing financial literacy. You cant make informed choices about your money if you don’t know where it is going.

Address your debt 

Now that you know where your money is going, its time to develop a strategy to start eliminating it. This means identifying expenses that you can trim and develop strategies to change your spending habits.

Check your credit report 

Your credit report can impact not only your ability to get a loan but to rent an apartment or land a job. Therefore, it is critical that you check your credit report often and understand the factors that affect it. If your score is low, there are many agencies available to help you start improving it.

Understand your retirement portfolio 

Check your investment choices. For those seniors with retirement portfolios, it is important to understand your risk. While the safety of bonds has always been attractive, a perfect storm may be upon the bond market in the form of anticipated increases in interest rates, tax cuts and a ballooning national debt which will all impact the value of bonds. If your portfolio favors bonds, it may be time to consider a more diversified financial plan. Know whether your total living expenses could ride out a drop in value.

Prepare 

We’ve all heard the rule—you should have three to six months of expenses on hand for an emergency. Even if you don’t think you can get there, start somewhere. Have a set amount put away so if there’s an emergency you have something to fall back on.

* For more information on this study and a more in-depth discussion on the topic of financial literacy, go to asaging.org.

Adapted from The Seniors Choice ‘Improving Senior Financial Literacy’

Thank you to Marie VillezaElderImpact.org) for contributing this piece to our August blog!

Living far away from a senior loved one can be stressful, especially if they have health issues or limited mobility. It can be difficult to know how to help from afar, but often, finances and commitments keep us from being able to travel.

Fortunately, there are several apps, websites, and services that will allow you to help your loved one no matter how far apart you are. Whether there are health issues involved or you just want to give them assistance around the house, technology has ensured that it can be done. Think about the best ways to help your loved one thrive, then read on for the best tips on how to get started and where to find the best services.

Health-related

Making sure your loved one stays in good health is a priority, but it’s not always easy when you live in a different city or state. Now, they can download an app on their smartphone to help them keep track of their blood pressure; it even allows them to record notes about what they had to eat or drink that day, their weight, and their resting blood pressure. The app uses the phone’s camera to record the pulse in their finger for a readout.

You can also invest in a Fitbit, which is worn on the wrist like a watch and tracks several different bodily functions, including steps taken over the course of the day.

For brain health

Keeping the brain active is vital for seniors, especially those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or are at risk for it. Playing brain games on a tablet or smartphone can help boost memory and keep brain cells active and healthy.

For seniors who have trouble remembering the little things–like where they parked in a large parking lot–there’s an app that will help them out every time they leave the house. Park And Forget is specially made for people who can’t keep track of the area they left their car in when they go to big places like the mall.

For ease of everyday activities

For seniors who have trouble reading small print even with glasses, there’s an app called Eyereader that enlarges the text in a book or magazine and lights it up through the phone screen. Used like a magnifying glass, this app prevents eye strain and helps seniors have more independence.

Pillboxie is another great app for seniors; it’s a reminder tool that helps the user remember to take their medication. This is perfect for seniors who have a lot of medicine to keep up with, especially if there are some that have to be taken at different times of the day.

Apps aren’t the only way you can help your senior loved one; you can also take advantage of services online, such as Rover.com, which allows you to set up a dog walker to come and take care of their pet. Although many seniors enjoy getting out and exercising with their dogs, some have limited mobility and can’t always do it safely. Hiring a dog-walker ensures that your loved one won’t have to choose between endangering their health or keeping their pet from going on its daily walk.

With so many apps and services to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming. Try not to stress; simply help your loved one set up the ones they want to try and show them how to get started. Once they’ve gone through the steps a few times, it will become much easier, and you can rest assured that they are in good hands even if you can’t be with them all the time.

Author: Marie Villeza (Author: ElderImpact.org)