The Next Steps for Senior Tech: What to Expect in 2021June 8, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Jana Gray, Independent Technology Author
Despite popular misconceptions, high-tech gizmos and gadgets aren’t always marketed towards teens and young adults. Much like their Gen-Z counterparts, seniors today need high-quality tech devices that obliterate learning curves and make day-to-day tasks a breeze.
At the height of the Digital Age, people over 50 already utilize voice-powered technology, smart home devices, and other state-of-the-art devices in their everyday lives. With technology evolving at warp speeds, senior citizens have no plans to discontinue their tech use in the future.
While dabbling with the latest and greatest tech innovations may serve as a primary mode of entertainment for aging folks, these devices also boast life-saving features. With a strong preference for aging in place, thousands of seniors choose to live out their golden years from the comfort of their homes. Because aging in place presents its fair share of potentially deadly hazards, at-risk seniors need tech devices that help them stay connected to their families, health care providers, and favorite retail establishments.
Considering that tech-savvy Generation X adults are moving into their early elder years, tech companies have followed suit and released high-tech gadgets designed specifically for seniors. Wondering what you can expect from 2021? Read on for an inside look into 2021’s senior tech trends on the forecast.
Innovations in senior-friendly cell phones
Companies like Lively Direct are designing senior-friendly smartphones that are easy to use and read. These recently-released senior-friendly smartphones come equipped with louder speakers and larger fonts for adults with hearing aids and reading glasses. Rather than swiping through numerous apps, these forward-thinking smartphones have only the necessary apps, like email, text, maps, phone, and internet. That way, your elderly loved one won’t feel bogged down by rows and rows of difficult-to-use apps.
Smart home devices for seniors
To help seniors continue to live at home, tech manufacturers offer smart home appliances with valuable tools. For example, refrigerators include in-door cameras that show the food inside and the expiration dates. High-tech, senior-friendly refrigerators provide reminders for grocery delivery, and some can place orders through Amazon Alexa or other smart devices.
With a smart refrigerator, senior adults who live independently can take care of their grocery needs without having to call adult children or neighbors for help.
Other senior-friendly home devices use voice assistants to make life at home easier. A senior homeowner might talk to their smart speaker to set their thermostat, call a friend, or check the camera outside of the garage door.
Smart devices for health data
Another use for senior-friendly home tech is a motion sensor that helps family members track the movements of an elderly adult with dementia. Many elderly adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease refuse to don a smart wearable. Fortunately, home sensors can provide valuable data like gait and movement patterns instead.
Seniors with hearing problems can use high-tech Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids. Audiologists can conduct hearing tests through Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, and the devices can provide sound therapy to strengthen the user’s hearing ability.
Technology that fights isolation and loneliness
As more seniors struggle to leave their homes, social isolation is a devastating reality for senior citizens nationwide. Fortunately, virtual reality platforms can bring them opportunities to engage with others. Some VR platforms allow seniors to travel the globe through their headsets while engaging with other wanderlust-stricken elderly folks. With a VR platform at their disposal, seniors can also listen to live music and play virtual games.
With this state-of-the-art technology within arm’s reach, seniors could go virtual skydiving or kayaking in exotic locations they could not access on their own. For some elderly folks, a VR platform presents opportunities to visit a virtual beach and listen to the waves to find a meditative calmness. Some seniors are also using VR to learn to cook or learn other new skills. Overall, these opportunities for unbeatably cheap travel and in-home cooking courses can improve their health and mental well-being.
To get the most out of all new senior tech devices, communities need robust internet services. With access to reliable internet, the sky is the limit for your loved one aging in place.