One of the biggest misconceptions I often hear is that people over age 60 are out of touch with technology. While today’s older adults may not be snap-chatting each other, they are far from being left behind in the tech world. In fact, older adults are figuring out new ways to make the most of gadgets and adapting them to their specific needs.
For example, some older people have difficulty reading normal size text because of vision problems. Others cannot easily get to their local library or bookstore. E-Readers offer an alternative. The text size is adjustable with many low-cost and free resources available. While it takes some time to adjust to not turning paper pages, many find the convenience well worth the trade-off.
Voice activated assistance devices are some of the latest gadget to find favor with seniors. You may know it as an Echo or simply, ‘Alexa” and savvy seniors are increasingly depending on Alexa for a myriad of day to day tasks. They call out to Alexa to set their cooking timer, add items to their shopping list or get quick weather updates. Need a reminder to take a pill? Ask Alexa to tell you when. Want a new joke when your grandkids are coming for a visit? Ask Alexa. Music can be requested by artist or genre and is the No. 1 reason people use Alexa with sounds — like thunderstorms, rain, and ocean waves — also among the top requests.
While Alexa won’t call 911, the Ask My Buddy feature can be used to alert one or all of your friends, family members, or caregivers via email, message or a phone call of an emergency.
Some people have taken steps to give joint access to their devices to their children or caregivers. For instance, the Find My Phone app can be used to provide location updates for a senior who is traveling. Some are using joint access to their Echo so their family can see they are up and around in the morning or what items are on their shopping list. They say it is less intrusive than being checked up on by phone.
The IPad is one of the most popular devices among older adults. It is easy to operate and offers a wide variety of applications. Some seniors use it to watch television programs with headphones to help with hearing problems. Others enjoy games, internet surfing and free access to newspapers and magazines.
New gadgets can be intimidating and requires patience to become adept at their use. But don’t give up! Learning new skills is good for everyone, especially seniors, and the benefits far outweigh the frustration of getting through the learning curve.
If you would like to learn more about your health, life or other insurance options, please call me at 440-255-5700 or email me at Lmutsko@mutskinsurance.com. We can discuss the various options and I will help you find the right insurance plan for you.