4 Smart Senior Technology Trends

Gone are the days of technology only being used by younger generations, every age has access to a variety of technology platforms, whether it be LinkedIn or Snapchat. Read about 4 smart senior technology trends that are emerging! Social media has even taken off in the mid-older generations. Especially during the pandemic, we all want to feel connected, engaged, and up-to-date with our friends and family.

With the wide-spread use of technology, seniors are starting to want more tech in their homes and for themselves – and industry leading companies are listening! A study done by Pew Research Center in 2017 noted that 42% of participants 65 and older owned smartphones. In fact, some senior age brackets use the same amount of technology as those under 65, reported in the study.

The study further states that once online, most seniors make the internet a standard part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of older internet users go online at least daily, including 17% who say they go online about once a day, 51% who indicate they do so several times a day and 8% who say they use the internet almost constantly. Among older adults who own smartphones, this figure is even higher: 76% of these smartphone-owning older adults use the internet several times a day or more.

It’s very clear that seniors are not just warming up to the idea of using technology, but they’re incorporating technology into their daily lives and routines. As technology innovation continues to forge forward, new advances, platforms, and applications become available on a daily basis.
In this blog we’ll talk about the newest advances in these markets:

In this blog we’ll talk about the newest advances in these markets:

Wearables

An article from Senior Lifestyle showcased an insightful 2015 study conducted by AARP. The study showed that 45% of participating older adults (50+ years old) reported an increased motivation for healthier living after six weeks of using a wearable activity or sleep tracker, and 67% of participants overall felt that such wearables were beneficial or of value.

Wearable tech can also provide family members and caregivers peace of mind. Some wearables specifically designed for seniors include features like fall detection and emergency monitoring, which means independent seniors still have the freedom and flexibility to do whatever they like with an extra layer of protection in case of an emergency.

Common examples of wearables are smart watches and medical alert devices like, Garmin Vivosmart 3, Reemo Health Smartwatch, Freedom Guardian, MobileHelp Smart, and even the Apple Watch. Features include sleep monitoring, easy-to-read displays, built-in guided breathing exercises, GPS tracking, and a highly advanced ECG App, similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram.

For cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s, products like the GPS tracker shoe insert made by GTX Crop can be immensely useful for caregivers, family members, and seniors. In this case, the senior in need may not know about the technology, but caregivers and family members will have peace of mind knowing that they’ll be able to see their loved one’s location right from their smart phone.

Voice Assistants

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has become a significant part of many senior’s lives, in 2018 a study by eMartketer reported that 3.8 million seniors using a smart speaker. Smart speakers are voice activated virtual assistants that can perform a variety of tasks from playing music, telling time, playing games, and even telling jokes!

Alexa’s benefits for seniors are innumerable:

  • Alerting someone for help
  • Nightlight for navigating at night
  • Sets alerts for daily tasks and medication reminders
  • Keeps seniors safe at home, locking doors
  • Provides comfort and companionship
  • Making lists
  • Listening to news
  • Making phone calls
  • Adjusting thermostat
  • Controlling lighting
  • Staying engaged with trivia and games
  • Listening to audio books
  • Tracking your phone

Monitoring Tools

Whether you’re caring for your loved one from afar or from down the street, caregiving from any distance can be difficult. Not having 24/7 oversight to your family member’s health status can quickly produce worry and anxiety.

All elderly monitoring tools are unique, but generally track:

  • Health
  • Location
  • Wellness
  • Comfort
  • Safety
  • Temperature
  • Sleep patterns

According to Consumer Advocate, these are the 9 Best Medical Alert/Monitoring tools:

  • Medical Guardian
  • Bay Alarm Medical
  • Medical Alert
  • LifeFone
  • Philips Lifeline
  • Alert1
  • GetSafe
  • Rescue Alert
  • Freedom Alert

Monitoring tools can help a loved one maintain their independence while caregivers can keep a watchful eye on their safety, health, and overall wellness. These tools could be easily incorporated in a home or at a senior living community.

Wellness Apps

Another study done by Deloitte in 2018 showed that about 74% of adults +55 now own a smartphone, compared to ages 18-24 at 94% ownership. Seniors love tech! The technology market is booming to meet this new demand, providing apps catered specifically to senior needs.

With over 2 million apps to choose from, we’ve chosen a handful that can help seniors maintain their overall wellness:

  • SilverSneakers GO: virtual classes, 4-12 week workout programs for all fitness levels, ability to schedule exercise activities
  • Instant Heart Rate: top rated measurement app, trusted by Stanford’s leading cardiologists for use in clinical trials, easy to use, measures your heart rate in 15 seconds
  • Be My Eyes: brings live sight to those suffering from blindness and low vision
  • Blood Pressure Monitor: easily manage your blood pressure, weight, and temperature
  • Lumosity: over 60+ brain training games designed to increase cognitive abilities
  • Car Finder AR: saves location of your parked car, easily shows distance and direction

As we usher in the year 2021 and begin to plan for the holidays, these items could also be used as gifts for seniors in your family! It’s obvious that seniors are going to continue increasing their use of technology and utilizing it not just for their health concerns, but for general wellness and even companionship.

Sources

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/12/7-new-tech-devices-for-that-help-seniors-live-happier-healthier-lives.html
  2. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/17/technology-use-among-seniors/
  3. https://www.seniorlifestyle.com/resources/blog/wearable-technology-for-seniors/
  4. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/
  5. https://www.consumersadvocate.org/medical-alerts/a/best-medical-alerts?pd=true&keyword=senior%20monitoring%20system&gca_campaignid=176363822&gca_adgroupid=65053940292&gca_matchtype=e&gca_network=g&gca_device=c&gca_adposition=&gca_loc_interest_ms=&gca_loc_physical_ms=9012000&gclid=Cj0KCQjwoJX8BRCZARIsAEWBFMK66_fHqs94654MYGoR_XaATL0R2jqdQla5cczn8KwHa1n3K8uyWQkaAsHREALw_wcB