Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

The US Census Bureau reports that the 65 and older population grew faster than any other demographic group between 2000 and 2010. Today, seniors are living longer and expecting more from their twilight years. Unquestionably, they are redefining the purpose and meaning of aging.

According to an AARP survey, an astounding 90% of seniors favor independent living. What’s more, they welcome the role of smart technology in facilitating this goal. Today, high-tech monitoring systems such as smart speakers are giving seniors the ability to preserve their valued independence.

Staying Independent: Smart Speakers for Seniors

What Smart Speakers Can Do For Seniors

Today’s smarts speakers are state-of-the-art tools. There are no wires, electrical plugs, or microphones to manage. Therefore, they are perfect for seniors who suffer from arthritis or other joint diseases. The speakers operate by voice commands. Once the activation word is spoken, the smart speakers can hear and respond to queries. This means that seniors can make requests from the comfort of their beds or couches.

Seniors can choose between Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or Apple’s Siri. The choice of a digital assistant will depend upon personal preferences.

Today’s smart speakers can activate lights, change thermostat settings, or even turn off the oven. They can also remind seniors to take their medications, pay their bills, or check their stock portfolios. Seniors who have failing eyesight can rely on smart speakers to read their favorite novels to them. Most importantly, family members can monitor their loved ones remotely. In the event of an emergency, smart speakers can initiate 911 calls and alert the proper authorities.

So, which smart speakers for seniors should you purchase? Here are 3 industry recommendations that may interest you.

Top Smart Speakers for Seniors

Sonos One is Wired’s top choice for “best overall speaker.” It’s affordable, has excellent sound quality, and can connect to over 65 music and audio services. It also supports Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and connects to many smart home devices.

Next, Wired ranks the JBL Link 20 as the “best portable speaker.” It’s waterproof, has a ten-hour battery, and is compatible with a number of streaming services and Google apps. This means that seniors can enjoy evergreen music through Youtube, Pandora, or Spotify. The JBL Link 20 also features Google Assistant, which plays Netflix shows and answers questions with expert authority.

The Wired choice for “best smart speaker with a screen” is the Amazon Echo Show. Amazon Echo plays Amazon Prime videos and daily news briefings. It also shows the lyrics to some Amazon Music tracks, and best of all, it supports video calls. This means that seniors can stay connected to their loved ones on a regular basis.

So, how do you like these choices? If you’d like more information about independent living and aging in place, we’re happy to help.

Our health professionals can make recommendations about smart technology and ways to help your loved ones retain their independence as they navigate their twilight years. For more information about quality senior services, contact us. We’re happy to answer all of your questions. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

 

How Technology Can Improve The Quality of Life For Seniors

Technology can be a godsend for senior and caregiver alike as they seek to grapple with the negative effects of aging and their associated demands. We are always on the lookout for the latest trends in technology in order to keep our readers up-to-date and to encourage them to be early adopters if they feel it will help their families.

Senior man talking on phone and using tablet, sitting at desk at home. Modern technology, communication concept

One such devastating condition is dementia. It affects everyone connected to the patient. Family members struggle with the patient’s inability to remember shared memories. Meanwhile, caregivers experience feelings of anxiety, exhaustion, and frustration. Many even admit to suffering prolonged bouts of depression. In truth, caregivers feel isolated. They struggle alone and find it increasingly difficult to keep their loved ones safe. Fortunately, with ever-evolving technology, both caregivers and seniors can experience a better quality of life.

Of course, such a solution is not without its challenges. For example, many elderly patients doubt their ability to navigate new technology. They may experience feelings of inadequacy where technology is concerned.

 

In any case, patients need not fear. Many senior care centers now offer senior technology literacy classes. Additionally, more libraries are offering classes on Internet basics. Seniors can now learn how to navigate social media, download e-books, and use Google Search with confidence. Some enterprising libraries even offer help sessions, where seniors can get answers to their technology questions.

Cell Phones for Older Adults

The world of commerce has certainly taken note of this increased focus on seniors and technology. Many cell phone companies now offer mobile devices that are senior-friendly. These have large numerical displays and brightly lit, buttons. Some phones are even hearing-aid compatible. Furthermore, they may also have a larger font, one-touch emergency dialing, and built-in LED flashlights.

Personal Emergency Response Systems Saves Lives

Today, an increasing number of mature individuals choose to live in their own homes as they age. In this light, it is imperative that they have access to dependable medical emergency response systems (MERS). Caregivers can select MERS according to individual requirements. For example, they can choose MERS with fall detection and medical monitoring capabilities for loved ones who are prone to falling. Caregivers can also track loved ones on the road with MERS that have GPS tracking capabilities. It is worth noting that all MERS should connect to highly competent response centers. Ideally, response times should be in seconds, rather than minutes.

Medication Management For Seniors

Many seniors take medication on a daily basis. So, it is important that they have access to an effective medication management system. To that end, there are now smartphone apps that remind seniors to take their daily pills. Additionally, these apps even sound alerts when it is time to get a prescription refilled.

The Importance Of Social Media

Social media sites such as Facebook can be crucial to a senior’s well-being. Today, increasing numbers of the elderly live alone. They enjoy little social interaction with others and become persistently isolated. Eventually, they develop symptoms of chronic depression. Studies show that disconnected people are 3 times more likely to die than people who enjoy healthy relationships.

Unquestionably, we live in an advanced age. Today, seniors need not suffer alone. Instead, they can leverage modern technology to make daily aspects of their life easier and more fulfilling.

At this time, if you have any questions about how you can use technology to improve the life of your loved one, contact us. David York’s qualified, compassionate caregivers are on hand to answer your questions. Alternatively, you can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Helpful Technology for Seniors: Recharge Your Life

Technology has become a way of life and will only continue to increase in prevalence – even for the senior population. Instead of shying away from the latest innovations, seniors can embrace devices that have the potential to enhance their independence as well as their quality of life. There’s a wealth of helpful technology for seniors, many of whom are recharging their lives with the help of gadgets. Take a look!

Telecommunication Technology Togetherness Concept

 

Promoting Independence

Seniors typically take several medications per day and this daily task can become overwhelming. The number of medications prescribed as well as the frequency of dosages is easy to forget. The risk of medication errors has always been high but rarely addressed. However, many devices have implemented apps and voice assistants which provide reminders and alarms set to the individual’s needs. Some devices also allow family members to check on the well-being of loved ones with wireless sensors. These unintrusive devices allow seniors to remain as independent as possible.

Social Connections

Some seniors face feelings of isolation and are unable to readily connect with family and friends. The use of social media has helped counteract these feelings. The age of waiting for phone calls or letter to arrive is over. Now, seniors can experience the instant satisfaction of receiving brief texts, seeing pictures posted or using webcams to check in with the people they care most about.

Overcoming Technological Intimidation

At times, seniors have had an attitude of skepticism toward technology. This is likely due to continuous product revisions and ongoing updates and advancements. According to a Pew Research Center study, a significant majority of older adults say they need assistance when it comes to using new digital devices. A mere 18% feel comfortable learning to use new devices on their own. In contrast, 77% indicate they would need someone to walk them through the process.

To overcome this fear, seniors with tech-savvy friends or caregivers can request help as needed. Education is also provided by senior centers and libraries as well as your local Office of Aging.

Technology is always moving forward and it’s easy to feel left behind. However, embracing technology can greatly enhance the quality of life for many seniors. From promoting independence and social connections to stimulating the mind with ongoing education, technology is a great tool for seniors.

David York Agency Can Help

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.