Technology is ever-progressing and, in turn, making our lives easier and allowing us to live at home for longer. It helps us remain independent and connected to our family and friends. We’ve created a list of the best technologies you or your loved ones should be using if you aren’t already.
1. Laptop or Tablets
Many of us have adapted to these technologies as they’ve been around for some time. These provide access to the internet, games, social media and more. All of which allow us to connect and communicate with our loved ones. Keep in mind that you will likely need Wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi, to use these technologies. Most internet companies provide seniors wireless internet discounts nowadays. Call your local provider and see what options may be available to you!
2. Video Call Apps
Skype and FaceTime are two main applications that allow you to communicate with others over video chat. You can use these on a laptop/tablet or smartphone! By visiting the Android or Apple App Store, you can download these apps and call anyone else who also has an account set up.
3. Health Tracking Software
Apple Watches, Garmin Watches and Fitbits can help encourage daily exercise. Apple Watches can even send alerts you if you have an emergency before you even sense the symptoms. If your heart rate becomes too high or too low, your watch will notify you and even call 9-1-1 without you having to do anything.
4. Local Libraries for Downloadable Audiobooks and eBooks
Your library may offer free audiobooks or eBooks via the Kindle or Nook. You also have the option to read or listen on your tablet, laptop or smartphone! This is a way to save money and remain engaged and continue to learn! Visit or call your local library for more information about your options.
5. Amazon Echo and Google Home Devices
You can use your Echo or Google Home to quickly check the weather, create to-do lists, set medication reminders, play trivia, listen to audiobooks through Audible, listen to music or hear the latest news. The least expensive version of an Echo is available on Amazon for $39.99. Learn about other neat things you can accomplish with a device like this!
6. Medication Management Technology
MedMinder is an example of a medication manager that helps individuals who have a lot of medications keep track of their pills and when to take them. A caregiver fills the seven-day pill dispenser with the appropriate medicines, and the tray will alert the individual to take the medications at the right time. The pill dispenser flashes when it’s time, and there is an option to lock the chambers until it is time to take those pills. There is also a beeper that will go off as a reminder at the appropriate time.
7. Virtual Doctors
Doctor on Demand is a commonly used website you can access via your laptop, tablet or smartphone. It connects individuals with board-certified psychologists and doctors who provide medical advice via live video calls.
This is a good option if you are not able to get to a doctor in person when you need to. You are also typically able to speak with a doctor soon after you request an appointment and input your symptoms.
8. Transportation Services
You can now request a ride through an app on your phone! Uber and Lyft are two popular options to choose from. Once you download the app to your smartphone, you can request a ride by typing in your desired destination. The app will show you nearby drivers, who will get you to where you need to be. While driving may not be an option, riding is, so this allows individuals to remain independent for longer.
Some health insurance companies are experimenting with providing a certain number of rides per year on certain Medicare plans. If this is something of interest to you, request more information about your options from your RetireMEDiQ health plan advisor at 1-866-600-5638.
We Want to Hear from You!
What are some of the best technologies that have helped you or a loved one remain at home longer? Comment below!