3 Tech Tips for Healthy Seniors
by Sarah Allen at Nucleus Life
Technology continues to provide numerous solutions for caregivers and health solutions for the seniors in their care. We took a look at 3 great ways to incorporate technology into senior caregiving.
Maintain Social Connections with Video Chat and Social Media
Studies have shown that increasing or maintaining the ability for seniors to socialize with friends and family can have profound effect on their health and longevity. UnitedHealthcare performed a study in 2012 of a 100 centenarians (100@100) and noted that staying engaged is just as important to healthy aging as genetics or other healthy living habits. When in-person meetings are difficult or not possible for some loved ones – Turning to technological solutions is the way to go. There are plenty of ways Caregivers can use technology with the one’s they care for, to ensure they stay connected to the ones they love.
Social media can be a great way to keep seniors connected. Being able to share thoughts or comments on apps like Facebook or Twitter is a growing trend with the senior community and should be encouraged!
There are great hardware solutions that can be taken advantage of as well. If possible, try to set up a Nucleus smart home intercom system. It’s an easy, senior friendly device that enables video chat with anyone in the family who has a device of their own or the app! With the touch of the button they can talk to their grandkids or even call for help.
Use Video Games to Keep Mind and Body Active
As time goes by, the stigma of video games being only for kids, has been going away. Studies continue to show the health benefits of playing video games at any age. For seniors specifically, there are plenty of benefits so including some games into a routine can be a great way for caregivers to increase a seniors overall health.
Focusing on video games from time to time can actually improve vision. A study of our Ontario Canada’s McMaster University showed that elderly patients with cataracts reported an improvement in vision after playing first person shooter games like Halo or Call of Duty. The rapid eye movement and focus of attention helped strengthen the eye and result in better vision.
Some video games encourage physical exercise as well. The older Wii games are a perfect example of games that can get seniors up and moving around while having fun! Sports games like bowling, golf and tennis encourage full body movement which can increase blood flow and burn calories. These kinds of game also impact the first category by encouraging social interaction and positive play with others.
Utilize Apps for Medication tracking
Ensuring that seniors can live as independently as possible is a key aspect to caregiving. The ability to track and take medications correctly is a huge part of being able to maintain independence. Caregiver should utilize the best apps they can find to help seniors easily track and manage their medications. A big problem can be the number of theses apps that exist and figuring out which is the best for you.
Luckily, The University of Sydney tackled this very problem and studied 272 different medication tracking apps and found the ones that were the best based on functionality and ease of use. The apps that ranked at the top of their rankings were: Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker (free), Alar Meds (Android only), My Heart My Life, and MedicineList+.
All these apps excelled at offering multiple features, and were sited as being easy to use by seniors. Whichever app you recommend, ensuring those in your care have the right technology to help track their medications is key.