Budget-Friendly Tech That Keeps Seniors Connected
Digital connection has never been more important than it is right now. In a post-COVID world where meeting in person isn't as essential in many circumstances as it used to be, it’s vital to have a way to stay in touch without undue stress. This is even truer for seniors. Isolation can put them at higher risk of depression, anxiety, and associated health problems.
Private Communities Registry can help you find a community where you can connect with your neighbors, but how do you stay in touch with loved ones who live far away?
Fortunately, there are a ton of senior-friendly ways to stay connected in today's digital world, and some great resources to help older adults get the most out of the internet and technology. And although gadgets can add up, you can find plenty of low-cost options that do the trick. Here’s a look at some of the ways you and your loved ones can stay in touch:
It’s hard to imagine a silver lining to this pandemic, but if there is one, it’s that it happened in an era where we can video chat. Even just a couple of decades ago, we wouldn’t have any easy way to see one another without raising our risk. Now, we can hop online, start a call, and get much closer to talking face-to-face.
However, seniors need the right technology to be able to fully enjoy video chat. Chatting on a phone screen, for example, dramatically limits how well some seniors can see the people on the other end. Get yourself or your loved one a laptop or tablet they can use for video calls so they have a larger screen. If you search around online, you can find coupons and Apple promo codes that can make these more affordable.
As Gizmodo explains, a simple (and free!) way to make technology more senior friendly is to explore your device’s accessibility settings. Phones, tablets, and laptops all include ways to make text and icons larger and easier to see. There are also a ton of other accessibility settings you might find depending on your device, such as voice over settings, magnifier apps, and ways to easily activate speech-to-text.
It’s not just the settings that can make a difference for seniors and tech. One accessory worth thinking about is your phone case. Some cases are slick, making them trickier to hold on to, especially for seniors with arthritis or grip strength issues. A phone case with a handle, or made out of a material with more traction, can make long calls much easier.
Smart Home Tech
Smart home devices are an excellent tool for seniors, and can make many parts of their lives easier, connection included. Tom’s Guide points out that a smart home hub, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, can play music, set alarms, and make phone calls—all through voice commands. You can also connect these devices to lights, thermostats, even your faucet. The practical applications of smart home tech are vast, especially for seniors.
However, smart home technology can get expensive, fast. The best way to keep this project affordable is to think of it as a project - something you do over a long span of time. Instead of trying to outfit your whole house at once, start with an assistant. Then you can add smart lights, a smart thermostat, and other devices as you go along. Spreading the costs out can even save you money in the long run as newer versions come out and older (but still perfectly functional) versions go on discount.
We are all yearning for ways to stay connected right now. Digital technology allows us to see and hear one another from any distance. Explore senior-friendly, affordable tech to find out how it can bring you and your loved ones together, even while maintaining health and safety protocols.