Contrary to what some might think, seniors have plenty of uses for new technology. Whether it’s to keep in touch with friends and family, stay healthy, make life more convenient, or simply pass the time in fun and interesting ways, seniors are carving out their own spaces in the digital world and making technology work for them. This week, we’re discussing one of the many reasons seniors are embracing technology to improve their lives: for their health.
Many of us must pay more attention to our health as we get older, and technology offers countless new and useful ways to do so. Wearable tracking technology for your fitness levels, heart, and sleep are improving all the time. This allows people to passively monitor their health, make informed decisions about physical activity, and practice positive sleep habits. General health apps like Fitbit, Apple Health, and MyFitnessPal are great tools for anyone, but seniors may find these apps and tools especially useful:
- Online research can be a beneficial first step in investigating medical symptoms and/or learning general health information. Remember, however, that there’s more unreliable information on the internet than reliable information. Always consult a medical professional in person before you make any significant health decisions.
- Blood pressure trackers like HeartWise, PulsePoint, and SmartBP allow you to record and track your blood pressure throughout the day. You can also log your weight and resting heart rate with many of them, and some even offer emergency cardiac support. Keep in mind, though, that these are only tracking tools. You still need a blood pressure monitor to measure your blood pressure.
- Pill reminder apps like Pillboxie, Medisafe, and PillPack are extremely helpful if you take multiple medications. Think of them as 21st-century complements to your pill organizer. After you install the app and enter your medication information, the app will remind you when it’s time to take a pill.
- Digital magnifying glasses are built into the operating systems of most smartphones, but you can also download outside apps to perform this function. These handy features make small print easier to read and reduce the potentially damaging effects of eye strain.
- Reading apps like Kindle and iBooks also help with eye strain by offering multiple text sizes. With many of these apps, you can increase the text size to the point of having fewer than 20 words per page and further enhance readability with various fonts and color schemes. If small print is an ongoing issue for you when reading traditional books, a dedicated e-reader (like an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes & Noble Nook) might be worth the relatively small investment. As we’ve recently discussed in our blog, reading various types of texts helps people stay mentally sharp, and retirees need to be conscious of the gap in cognitive activity that retirement can leave.
Just about every positive development carries a negative side. While digital technology can be beneficial in numerous ways, no one is exempt from its potential adverse effects. We recommend that everyone takes regular breaks from screens to read print material, socialize, and enjoy some time in the real world.
If you’re interested in learning more about independent living, assisted living, or memory care in one of our communities, contact Village Park Senior Living to schedule a tour. Our courteous staff will go over our options and help you determine which one might be right for you. For more special interest stories and informative articles about topics for seniors and our community, you can also check out our weekly blog or follow us on Facebook and Google+ to get the latest news and updates.