As someone just entering that awkward “tween”- equivalent stage of senior life (my mid-fifties) – years, I’ve found myself thinking a lot lately about the early boomers who grew up with 19-inch “Console TV sets” with cabinets as big as sofas and their children (and grandchildren) who can text faster than 19th century telegraph operators on electronics smaller than their hand.
And yet, fortunately, seniors aren’t left off of that ark of technology either. A quick glance across cyberspace yields all kinds of intriguing technology for those of us who grew up when social networking was baseball on the street with the neighbors.
(Disclaimer: The following are NOT reviews or endorsements of the products listed, merely a tiny sampling of what is out there for the techno-curious senior and the people who love them)
Gadget-Targeting: Want to have a phone from this century that doesn’t look like you’ll need a degree in electrical engineering? Trendhunter has a Fujitsu smartphone that is geared towards seniors, with a larger, simpler interface, and emergency buzzer, and color-coded large tactile buttons.
Tech-Savvy Health Communication: NationSwell tells of a pilot program that is bringing wireless telehealth programs to four senior centers in New York City. VitalCare Services is partnering with the city to bring advance methods of monitoring and measuring blood oxygen, blood pressure, medications, and other medical needs through fully synced wireless instruments connecting the senior centers with health professionals.
A Tweet Way to Remember Your Pills: Back to Trendhunter again, this time for The Life Capsule, an “interactive smart-pill-box” that keeps track of what pills you (or a loved one) need to take when, and not only organizes and keeps track of what is taken when, it sends the pill-taker a tweet when he/she needs to take a pill or pills.
Embracing the Technology Already Out There: And finally, there are more and more reputable organizations and websites that are giving seniors more useful and comprehensive examples of how best to utilize the technologies that have been out there for years: Things like tablets/notebooks, GPS, Skype, Wireless Home-Assisted Technology, video games/mind-apps, and many more. One such website article that covers these and more is the referral site for assisted living facilities, A Place for Mom.
And these are just a scant preview of the growing wave of senior-tech devices, apps, programs and other 21st century innovations geared towards those of us born in the middle of the 20th century.