Following on from last week’s successful Learning Lunch: Technology for older people, our guest blog from Sandy Getzky, associate editor at ProveMyMeds, provides straightforward advice on the subject.
There’s a common misconception about seniors not being able to get the hang of new technology, but don’t fall for it. As you get older, there are plenty of highly useful tech tools that are easy to learn and use on a regular basis. These tools won’t magically help you remember where you put your keys or clear up a persistent case of toenail fungus, but they can help you keep your brain sharp and stay in touch with friends and family.
Tablets, iPads and eReaders make reading easier as your eyesight gets worse. Instead of having to search around for books that are available in large print, you can adjust the size of the text you’re reading on the screen of your device. You also won’t have to worry about carrying the current book you’re reading around with you and accidentally misplacing it. You can store your entire library on your eReader or in iBooks on your iPad and have any book you want available for immediate reading. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest news online, as long as your device has Internet access.
There’s an app for pretty much anything you can imagine these days, and they’re very easy to use. All you have to do is download them onto your smartphone, iPad or tablet, and use them whenever you want. If giving your brain a workout to keep your mind sharp is on your daily to do list, you’ll find plenty of mind-focused apps to choose from. These apps range from crossword puzzles to apps that give you a variety of brain-boosting tasks to perform. Most of these apps let you track your progress, so you can see how you’re doing. You can find apps that only take a few minutes to do at a time, as well as longer ones that you can sit and enjoy working on.
Social media sites provide you with a convenient way to stay in touch with family and friends on a regular basis. You can hop on and see what your loved ones have been up and post your own updates. You can also see the latest pictures of your grandkids, and share your own photos. Most of these sites also have a chat feature, so you can instantly connect with family and friends instead of playing phone tag.
As you think about these new tools and the potential each bring it is important to consider the costs vs the benefits. If consuming great literature, sharpening your mind, and connecting with your friends and loved ones is important to you than it is likely the benefits far outweigh the costs of navigating through the learning curve. Remember that everyone has difficulty learning new skills. It is easy to become frustrated when attempting to figure out how to use this new technology, especially when it feel like you’re outmatched by 13-year-olds. But that is no reason to give up. These new tools can have a powerfully positive impact on your day to day life and they are only difficult at first. Once you get the hang of this technology you’ll never look back.
ProveMyMeds is a public health and education startup focused on producing helpful resources concerning the treatment of common ailments.