How Technology Can Support Older Generations

Category: General

Technological advancements occur so fast that we often don’t realize how far civilization has come in the past fifty years. From cell phones to electric cars, technology makes many aspects of life easier and more accessible. It may also be the key to a more independent life as we age.

Despite the jokes about older generations failing to adapt to new technologies, technology for older generations remains an area of extreme growth and development. Imagine having the opportunity to live independently longer and safer while remaining connected to your family and friends! 

With services like Handwrytten, you can get customized notes sent to your loved ones or yourself so you never have to stress about the struggles of writing to stay connected.

Let’s look at a few challenges older adults face, and some technological advances, including Handwrytten, that could be useful.

Challenges to Living Independently as an Older Adult

Sacrificing independence is a challenge for many adults who are used to having their own spaces. However, living alone can present enough difficulties to leave the older generation with few choices aside from assisted living homes.

Personal Care, Household Chores, and Routine Errands

From bathing and dressing to household cleaning and yard work, living alone can present various challenges for older adults. Injuries, ailments, and natural aging can impact your mobility and stamina to varying degrees, which can make daily activities more challenging.

Digging deeper, things like grocery shopping and meal preparation pose unique challenges for older adults living alone. Though nutritious meals are more important than, building balanced meals isn’t as easy. Preparing nutritious food means lots of time on your feet, finding the proper ingredients, and paring down the recipe to minimize leftovers.

With services like Handwrytten, you can have your recipes written out for you as if you wrote them out yourself. Better yet, you can customize the format and design they come with. You can also try having grocery lists prepared for you so you can keep track of what you like and what you need when your weekly grocery shopping trip comes around.

With services like Handwrytten, you can have your recipes written out for you as if you wrote them out yourself.

Financial Matters

Handling financial matters can be frustrating at the best of times, but frequent technological changes and a lack of resources can further complicate things for older adults. Living on a fixed income can make it more challenging to stay afloat, and about half of older adults living alone cannot do so. 

Even worse, living alone puts older adults at risk for theft and fraud. Today’s thieves can be convincing and tricky, especially with vulnerable and lonely adults who crave attention and companionship enough to make risky moves. Many of the fraudsters look for isolated and vulnerable adults to target and don’t mind investing time to get the job done.

Maintaining Personal Connections

Perhaps the most challenging part of living alone is social isolation. Human beings require social interactions at every stage of life, but those crucial connections fade as we grow older and can lead to loneliness. As friends and family pass away or move away, it can leave older adults isolated, especially if they live alone.

When older adults live alone and cannot find opportunities to socialize with other people they can deteriorate quickly. In fact, research shows that social isolation contributes to physical and mental health issues, including heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.

Sending letters with Handwrytten offers an easy way to communicate and keep in contact with loved ones. Who doesn’t love receiving a customized letter?

Supporting Older Adults in Assisted Living

Independent living isn’t always an option but assisted living facilities still pose challenges for some older adults. While you have some support and other residents nearby, it’s not always enough.

If you formed a circle of friends that still live independently or perhaps in other facilities. It’s more difficult to keep in contact with friends if you aren’t in the same place. And what about family? If children and grandchildren can’t make visiting hours or the new living arrangement is too far from them, it can further isolate an older adult. 

Even though you have support for daily living and health matters, assisted living options cannot always fulfill social needs. Though you can certainly make new friends, it’s not easy for everyone and may not replace the lost connections.

Helpful Technology for Older Generations

Building a strong support network is crucial to protecting older adults and helping them live independently. Thankfully, there is a lot of technology for older generations to use to regain or maintain their independence.

Personal Communication Supports

Given that social isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing older adults, it makes sense to pursue technology that can help the older generation reconnect. Handwritten notes still feel more personal and convey deeper emotion to the recipient than an email or text. However, many older adults require some form of assistive technology to relay communications to their loved ones. 

Consider an older adult who can no longer write letters due to physical limitations, but they can use speech-to-text apps to dictate their thoughts. Or, perhaps a senior can still type their wishes but lacks the dexterity to handwrite them onto a notecard. The technology exists to allow both people to send handwritten notes to their loved ones.

From sending congratulations notes to grandchildren to birthday wishes for best friends, robotic handwriting services can help. Give a personal touch to cards when it’s no longer physically possible. This technology can reproduce a handwritten note in the style you choose and even print it on personal stationery so that it looks and feels as though the senior wrote it. 

From sending congratulations notes to grandchildren to birthday wishes for best friends, robotic handwriting services can help.

Affordable, Reliable Internet

Perhaps the most crucial technology for older generations is affordable, reliable internet service. Given the financial issues facing many seniors, having a plan that works with the budget is crucial, but it also needs to be consistent because untimely outages could be problematic.

Internet access provides a world of opportunity for older adults and makes life easier. Setting up auto-pay for bills, accessing television shows and movies, and playing online games with friends can provide a simpler, more enjoyable life and allow seniors more independence.

Robotic Companions

It’s not always possible to get a hug from a loved one. When you feel lonely or need gentle reminders to get through the day, technology can come through in various forms. From cuddly carebots to companion droids, companies like Handwrytten around the world have creative, cutting-edge ways to support older generations. 

These devices can provide various experiences depending on the senior’s needs. One may wish to experience having a pet without the responsibilities and clean up. Another may need a simple companion to deliver reminders about appointments and medication schedules. Handwrytten uses robots to create realistic letters and notes. These robots can provide low-maintenance support solutions to keep older adults engaged and safe.

Mobile Phones and Tablets

It’s easy to joke about your memory fading with age, but it’s not so funny when it happens. Mobile phones and tablets can provide alerts, help you connect with friends and family, and allow you to watch familiar videos or shows that you thought were lost to time. 

With larger screens and buttons, easy-to-use apps, and lightweight construction, many of these devices make life easier without too much complicated tech. Software companies seem to be more in touch with the needs of older generations as they develop new options to accommodate the aging population.

Video Call Technology

The importance of video calling technology for the older generation cannot be understated, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented in-person visitation for so many older adults. Though many relate video calls to cell phones and tablets, it’s possible to set up calls through various platforms and devices. 

From special gadgets to laptops and desktops, seniors can communicate in real-time with their loved ones to maintain those relationships. Even if you can’t make visiting hours or swing by every day to check in, social and video apps allow family and friends to provide much-needed support and interaction. 

Fitness Trackers

Though it may seem silly to some, fitness trackers can do wonders for older adults. Not only do most trackers feature blood pressure and heart rate monitors, they often have other helpful metrics to keep tabs on chronic conditions. 

Additionally, fitness trackers can monitor sleep cycles, daily step counts, and calories burned to help older adults stay fit and alert them to potential health concerns. It’s even possible to set alarms to remind seniors about taking meds.

Virtual Reality Devices for PT

Virtual reality devices represent the next step in many industries, including physical therapy and rehab. What if you could recover from a hip replacement using a VR device that makes you feel like you’re playing a game? 

These new devices allow treating sources to create custom exercises and track a patient’s progress with advanced metrics. Plus, older adults can continue physical therapy at home where they feel more comfortable and don’t have to worry about finding transportation.

Embracing Technology for Older Generations

Globally, we will see at least a 60% increase in the number of older people. The need for viable technology to support the aging population cannot be understated, and many tech firms are already exploring options.

Though younger generations may need to provide initial support, modern technology is often adaptive and easier to learn. Many options reflect an understanding of aging and the need for convenient, user-friendly interfaces.

As you can see, there is incredible technology for older generations to reconnect with family and friends to prevent social isolation and the related issues. Handwrytten is one opportunity for older adults to maintain contacts in familiar ways, regardless of their living situation or physical limitations. Learn how we can help you or the older adults in your life!

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