Is your elderly loved one bored? Unmotivated? Lonely? Fight these common afflictions of getting older with . . . technology! Make the most out of your elderly loved one’s taste for tech with these 4 senior activities and entertainment ideas.
Reading & Education
Tech-savvy seniors will find it easier than ever to read their favorite magazine or the latest New York Times bestseller with a tablet or e-Reader device. Unlike paper books, e-Readers (like Amazon Kindle) make it super simple for senior citizens to enlarge a page to make it easier to read and prevent eye strain. Turning a page is as easy as swiping across the screen too, and digital bookmarking means they’ll never lose their place again. Technology also provides senior citizens with the chance to continue their education by taking college classes online. Many states offer free or subsidized “Lifelong Learners” or “Senior Learners” programs for senior citizens to take non-degree college level classes right from the comfort of their own home. Check with local agencies and a state college/university near you to see what options are available.
Looking to bolster mental acuity, memory and confidence in your elderly parent or grandparent? Free games that can be downloaded as apps on their computer, tablet or smartphone are just the ticket for tech-savvy seniors. Number games like Yushino and Sudoku, and word games like Words with Friends and Just Jumble provide hours of challenging and fun mental play. Plus, online games typically allow you to play a known opponent, be they a Facebook friend or someone you invite via email. This gives seniors the chance to socialize too, for example, with their friends or grandchildren.
81% of seniors active on social media report socializing with others on a daily or near-daily basis, according to a 2014 Pew Research report. Chances are that number has only grown in the past three years revealing an unprecedented opportunity for tech-savvy seniors to reduce isolation and connect with others in their Golden Years. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest (and even Snapchat) help senior citizens unite with family and friends online, as well as share photos, join in conversations and keep up to date with news and events. Most social media platforms are completely free and have applications for computers, tablets and smartphones so your beloved senior can stay connected, wherever they are. Youtube is also a great destination for senior citizens! They do not need to register an account or anything to simply search and watch Youtube videos, and they’ll be surprised what types of videos they can find – from 30-year-old concerts of their favorite symphony to yoga instruction and how-to DIY tutorials.
Music & Movies
Gone are the days of grandpa popping old, scratched-up cd’s into the ancient stereo he has had for decades. Access to technology means access to a library of entertainment for senior citizens. Free music apps like Pandora and Spotify provide a playlist based on a person’s musical preferences, favorite artists and songs. Streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video (which do cost a monthly fee) open a world of visual entertainment, offering brand new releases, as well as classic movies and shows from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, which seniors will love. You don’t need a smart TV to take advantage of streaming platforms either; if your elderly loved one has a regular TV with an HDMI plug and an internet connection, a device like a Wifi Blu-ray player, Roku, Chromecast or Amazon Fire stick will give them what they need to get hooked up.
Does your tech-savvy senior have a disability or health impairment? If so, taking advantage of technology to help entertain them can be even more important. If reading a book or newspaper on an e-Reader isn’t feasible, try audiobooks and podcasts instead. There are plenty of great resources to find great audiobooks. For example Amazon.com’s “Audible” service offers thousands of audiobooks for a set monthly subscription fee, all of which can be played and downloaded on computers and mobile devices. Podcasts are typically free and on iTunes, for example, can be searched, subscribed to, and downloaded for listening also off your computer or mobile device. If playing music or looking something up online is difficult, check out freestanding virtual assistants for your favorite senior citizen, like “Alexa” by Amazon and “Google Home”, which turn on with a simple voice command.
This article was written by the www.vivehealth.com team.