Senior Citizens: Can New Technology Help Stay in Touch?

Over the last decade technology has developed in leaps and bounds. We all hear about iPads, iTunes, MP3 players, mobile phone applications and many, many more, but most seniors are not very au fait with how to use them to get the best out of them.

If they’ve become computer literate during their working lifetime this does stand them in good stead, plus the added advantage of picking things up quickly. A mobile phone is an ideal tool to keep in touch with friends, grandchildren, their own adult children and family by texting or quick calls.

Emailing and a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system such as skype are also excellent ways of keeping in touch on a computer all over the world. The visual aspect of being to actually see family is a very heart warming and reassuring for elderly residents, especially young grandchildren growing up.

Skype is free if you communicate PC to PC, but they also offer very low-cost options for calling PC to landline, or PC to mobile. You can even take out a local skype telephone number, so that family and friends can be contacted cheaply via skype on a local call anywhere in the world! If you have a webcam and microphone, you can video-chat and see the person as you talk to them. They will also have to have installed skype on their computer.

The internet itself can become an all-consuming hobby, where researching any question they wish to ask, looking up interests, checking train and bus times, what’s on and where, directions to places, price comparisons, the list goes on. Many hours can be spent online increasing your knowledge and finding the answer to many questions and much, much more. Google has become so omnipotent as a search engine that we even use the phrase today “google it”!

If seniors do not own their own computer, most municipal libraries offer computer access free, they may just have to book a session in advance. Computer classes are often offered free to seniors, but in some areas, there may be a charge. Do not be daunted, recently an 82yr old neighbour started classes a few weeks ago and is enjoying them enormously, has made new friends and developed a new skill to help him keep in touch with friends and family in his own home or in the local library.

New technology now means that anybody can access the Internet whilst away from home, many places offer free Wi-Fi access, so if on holiday, or out for the day, laptops, notebooks and even ipads and mobile phones these days can all access Wi-Fi points and provide Internet access to keep seniors more accessible to the outside world. Once the inertia and initial apprehension is overcome, many seniors realise the benefits of this new technology and go on to fully embrace the technology and the benefits it can bring to their lives.

TrustedCare, is passionate about the welfare and health of senior citizens and the role technology can play in elderly care in the UK.