Tech Solutions for Isolating Seniors
Connection and belonging are vital to the health and well-being of older adults. Without them, seniors can become isolated and lonely, which can contribute to serious health consequences. According to a PBS article, negative effects may include reduced cognitive function, higher heart disease rates, and a greater risk for premature death. Unfortunately, there are also increased risks that come with encouraging older adults to physically socialize with others in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When properly employed, technology can help strike a balance between those risks. Suppose you are a senior who would like to get started with the right tech solutions; there are a few things that you'll need to take into consideration, including physical or cognitive limitations such as deteriorating vision or weakened grip strength.
Use this guide from Seniors Helping Seniors to find the right gear and the best ways to stay connected and engaged during this unprecedented period of isolation.
Choose the Right Tech Gadgets
Seniors have a lot of reasons for feeling uncomfortable using technology, and it goes beyond the hesitance to try something new. With senses like vision and hearing not what they used to be, a gizmo that is challenging to just read isn’t going to be enticing to use. Thankfully, many new tablets, smartphones, and computers offer a host of accessibility features that make them perfectly suitable for use at any age. You can use speech-recognition, enlarged screen displays, and voiceover capabilities, just to name a few.
With the right device on board, there may still be some hesitance to using it, but stay persistent. You might just need to look around a bit. If one device isn't a good fit, be willing to keep trying until you find the right one. It is helpful to demo a few family members' devices, but use common sense and best health practices to reduce the spread of germs. You might surprise yourself with how easy you adapt to using new technology.
Use Online Tutorial Services
As ZDNet explains, there are great video conferencing platforms available online and through app stores. While most are relatively intuitive, a few quirks will be easier to work around with advanced knowledge. This is where free online classes can come in handy. So, go ahead, grab a cup of coffee and sit back for a tutorial or two before you join your first Zoom meeting. You'll be glad you took the time to familiarize yourself, so you don't miss any of the much more precious time seeing your family and friends online.
Once you’ve mastered the skills you need to connect face-to-face virtually, you can explore lots of other possibilities for livening up your connections. You can play a board game, host a book club, attend virtual events, cook a meal and eat together—really, you’re limited only by your imagination!
Secure a Good Connection
The proper internet connection will make video conferencing and online get-togethers go much more smoothly, so don't settle for slow service. 5G internet has arrived in many major metropolitan areas and offers high-speed and reliable service. You can also look into senior rates or special programs for low-income households if you are on a very limited income.
As a senior, you need to stay connected to the outside world, even if current health measures mean you are confined to your home. Nurture that connection by choosing appropriate tech devices, establishing a proper internet connection, and reviewing tutorials for any video conferencing solutions you'll be using. The joy you experience when you connect with friends and family will be well worth the effort.
Could you benefit from a helping hand? Seniors Helping Seniors in-home services can offer assistance with day-to-day tasks so you or your senior loved one can live independently! Call 312-526-3666 or send us a message to learn more!
Article contributed by Libby Howell at Grandparent.info