The rise of advanced digital technology has transformed life in the 21st century in too many ways to count. Seniors are one of the groups that have benefited most from this transformation: All kinds of life-enhancing benefits and conveniences are now within reach at the press of a button, and seniors are learning to adopt these technologies in ever-greater numbers to make life better. For seniors in assisted living communities, for example, here are five ways technology can enhance quality of life.
Staying connected with friends and loved ones — and having ways to develop fresh connections that tie in with your interests — is one of the best ways to keep up your mental and physical health and simply enjoy your best life. The best kinds of online technologies for staying in touch with your loved ones are the kinds that enable face-to-face interactions. WhatsApp, Googe Hangouts and even Facebook Messenger can all be easy, valuable ways to get the kind of direct interaction that "social networking" sites don't otherwise offer.
It's never too late to learn new things, whether you're working to become more well-rounded as a person, to develop a more profound and meaningful life or simply to have fun and indulge your curiosity.
The internet throngs with free learning courses and programs. You can find everthing from personal success courses to novel writing, programming courses to practical training on getting more active to online university programs. If you're not seeking current credentials but just want to check out a certain subject, you can even try out legacy online courses that deliver a no-longer-current syllabus as it was originally taught.
There are a couple things to keep in mind when making use of online learning sources:
The pioneering LIFE program through Iowa State University is an intergenerational online fitness program led by younger adults that helps seniors and at-risk populations stay fit using interactive online games. It's just one way that entertainment and games can help you enjoy a better standard of living. There are numerous free online game portals that provide simple and diverting entertainment that's easy to get into. Consider checking out games such as:
You can also stay current with popular culture, enjoy classic shows or check out the latest hit movies using a multitude of online streaming services that have increasingly become competitive with cable. Some of the most popular include Sling Television, Hulu, Crave TV and Netflix. Television networks have launched their own streaming services, too, including free streaming libraries from ABC, CBS and CTV. The options for streaming are getting more diverse, it seems, by the day.
Apps specifically created to improve cognitive health have been one of the major recent trends in using online technology to boost seniors' quality of life. More than just games or entertainment, these apps are specifically developed to meet clinical and scientific standards for boosting brain function. This makes them ideal resources for reinforcing your mind and literally give your brain a workout.
Popular choices include:
If you're staying active in the workforce as a freelancer — an increasingly popular option for independent professional seniors looking for a little extra income — or if you're just looking to keep the best possible track of your expenses and savings, there are plenty of online records-keeping tools that help you stay efficient and organized while you minimize the clutter of paper records. The venerable favorite QuickBooks hosts an online service at minimal cost, for instance. Bench is another inexpensive option with a very positive reputation for ease-of-use (it connects you online with certified bookkeepers), and Wave Accounting offers basic functionality free of charge.