Even before the coronavirus outbreak hit, senior isolation was a serious concern in the U.S. And now that seniors are considered high-risk for contracting COVID-19, senior isolation is an even bigger problem — especially for those who live alone. However, this is where age-friendly technology comes in. From tablets and laptops to smartphones and smartwatches, certain types of technology can help seniors to stay connected to their loved ones — even when face-to-face interaction isn’t possible.
Check out these suggestions to learn about the different types of tech that can help to combat senior isolation amidst COVID-19.
Laptops, Tablets, and Smartphones
With the holidays and colder weather fast-approaching, there’s no better time to score deals on a new piece of technology for your senior parent or friend — especially if your loved one’s tech devices are outdated, difficult to use, or not working as well as they should.
You could find discounts to help you purchase a new laptop, tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer for your senior loved one — as holiday deals will be available from a variety of well-renowned manufacturers. Smart devices can also make it easier for your senior to connect with others — especially if your loved one prefers to use hands-free technologies.
Moreover, your senior’s new laptop, tablet, or smartphone can be used to send and receive text messages and emails — and devices equipped with cameras can also be used for video chatting with others. But even if your senior uses a desktop computer without a built-in camera, a separate webcam (like the Logitech C920s HD Pro Webcam) can be purchased for video chatting via Skype, Zoom, or Facebook Messenger.
If you’re looking for some apps and games that can help to keep your senior loved one happy, healthy, and entertained while social distancing at home, a plethora of options will be available to choose from. Seniors can use their new tech devices to play online games with friends and family members, order food and groceries through apps like Instacart and DoorDash, and share photos and videos with loved ones.
Smartwatches and Wearable Tech
If your senior isn’t keen on using laptops, tablets, or smartphones — wearable technology could be a better option for him or her. Not only can smartwatches and fitness trackers help your senior to live a healthier and more active lifestyle, but some wearable tech can be used to receive phone calls, reply to text messages, and read social media notifications.
A few types of wearable tech for seniors include the following:
- Apple Watch 4
- Garmin Vivosmart 3
- Samsung Gear S3
- Reemo Health Smartwatch
Reliable Internet Service
To connect with your senior online — whether by email, video chat software, or social media — your loved one will need a reliable home internet connection. And fortunately, it’s easy to find a reliable high-speed internet service — even if your loved one resides in a rural area where broadband internet isn’t accessible. Verizon’s tips and tutorials can help you with everything from finding the right internet service for your loved one to keeping your senior safe and protected online. Plus, other online resources can help seniors to learn basic tech skills.
Age-friendly tech can be a great way for your senior loved one to connect with friends and family through video chatting, text messaging, emailing, and social media — but technology can also help you to be a better caretaker to your loved one. From file-sharing services like Google Drive and Dropbox to various mobile apps like TaskRabbit and Postmates, technology can help you to care for and stay in touch with your loved one — whether you’re near or far.
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