As technology becomes more and more integral to our everyday lives, it’s also becoming a more prominent feature in retirement. Learn some of the apps that are improving seniors' lives.
As technology becomes more and more integral to our everyday lives, it’s also becoming a more prominent feature in retirement. Just because you’re beyond your working years doesn’t mean you have to hit the off switch on the latest ways to keep track of your health, manage your money, and stay in touch with your friends and family.
Computers, smartphones, and related apps for seniors help retirees enjoy their later years. In fact, this technology can actually help seniors live independently.
“It’s a great thing to think about—that technology can help everybody,” said Ann Naumann, senior content manager with A Place for Mom, which says it is the largest senior living referral service in the U.S. and Canada.
Naumann said she’s seeing an uptick in retirees being more tech savvy. Although it can still be challenging for an older generation to pick up newfangled ways of interacting with the world, it is becoming easier, and many seniors have built-in tech support from their kids, she said.
On its website, A Place for Mom offers what it calls the “21 best apps for seniors.” The list includes apps to help retirees save money, monitor health, get transportation, and check the weather, as well as a number of entertainment apps. Many offer enlarged typefaces and larger, easy-to-tap buttons.
And if you are considering assisted living or home care, A Place for Mom has a calculator to help you compare those costs.
Giving up the car keys can be an emotional issue for some people, but new technology-based services are making it easier than ever to stay mobile even if you’re not driving your own vehicle.
Mobile ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are making it easier for seniors to get around without driving, Naumann noted. “It’s a way to continue to be independent without putting yourself and others at risk because you might not be as good a driver as you used to be,” she said.
And with a transportation service such as GoGoGrandparent, seniors can call a number using a traditional landline or cell phone and be connected with Uber or Lyft—no smartphone required, although the company does recommend people have a cell phone so they can always be reached.
Communicating with loved ones, friends, family, and businesses has come a long way since the days of manual telephone switchboard operators like Sarah in The Andy Griffith Show’s town of Mayberry. Today, you don’t even need a phone—smart or otherwise. And with a fast enough Internet connection, you can stay in touch from anywhere in the world. Retirees with computers can follow the activities of friends with Facebook or Instagram. They can have video chats with their kids via FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
Of course, physical wellness is often a big focus as people age, and technology is providing new avenues to help seniors with health issues. Naumann points to technology for seniors such as CareZone, MedMinder, and Reminder Rosie.
CareZone is a smartphone service for managing chronic health conditions. The company says its app makes it easy to manage multiple medications, automate pharmacy requests, organize and share caregiving information, and access insurance services.
MedMinder’s smart pill dispensers are each equipped with a built-in micro cell phone and can remind patients to take their medications with flashing lights, auditory prompts, and optional phone calls, texts, and emails.
Reminder Rosie digital alarm clocks can provide voice reminders for medication, appointments, and everyday tasks.
More American seniors than ever are owning smartphones and using the Internet and social networking sites, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center report based on survey data from 2016. Senior-friendly technology and specially designed apps for retirees can help enhance the quality of the later stages of life.
Matt Whittaker is not a representative of TD Ameritrade, Inc. The material, views, and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and may not be reflective of those held by TD Ameritrade, Inc.
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