Technology seems to be changing quarterly, if not monthly or even daily in some cases. Whether it is the latest iPhone rollout or a new website, game, or app, sometimes it’s hard to keep up on the latest advancements. Just imagine how hard it must be for some of your older clients; there’s so much to keep up with that they may even be tempted to avoid Smart technology altogether. If that’s the case, then I’d recommend sharing with them the idea that the Smart phone is not just for emergencies or making phone calls, but rather, the Smart phone could actually offer them freedom.
The concept that a Smart phone could be the difference between assisted living and aging in place may seem far-fetched, but the reality is that today’s technology offers countless opportunities for retired individuals to live independently and enjoy a good quality of life in their later years.
Think about it this way: what do you most enjoy doing? You might answer that question with a social activity, like eating at a restaurant, going to the movies, visiting family and friends, meeting up for coffee or a drink, and so on. Perhaps you’re more of a solo person, who likes to read, do crossword puzzles, create art, or watch television. Maybe your passion is learning, and your spare time is consumed with attending educational lectures, playing trivia games, or enrolling in classes.
Now imagine that the thing you love to do is no longer possible or accessible to you. As we age, many of us become less agile, unwilling or unable to drive, and therefore become reliant on others—family members, friends, neighbors, caregivers—to partake in the activities that we enjoy. That's all well and good, but think about what that really means. It means being beholden to someone else’s schedule, having to ask whenever you want to go anywhere, scaling back on frequency of outings, and, potentially, paying a premium just to leave the house. That loss of freedom can greatly increase the risk of isolation, loneliness, and poor emotional health.
Technology can help retirees maintain that freedom. For the extrovert who thrives on interaction, socializing, and going out, they’ve got rideshare apps, texting, video calling, dating websites specifically for seniors, and social media. For the introvert who opts to fill the time with hobbies, they can read and order books using technology, play countless word games, doodle or sketch through art apps, or stream just about any movie or television show. For the erudite who wants to continue to learn, technology offers podcasts and Ted talks to download, trivia games, news apps, memory-improvement apps, and online classes.
Technology also makes it possible to keep track of doctors’ appointments and medications, eat healthier with nutrition apps and delivery of fresh, ready-to-cook meals, and reach out for help in the event of an emergency, all of which are critical for older clients who live on their own.
Freedom is defined by the one seeking it. For many clients, by showing them all of the positive aspects and advancements in technology that are applicable to their individual situation, you can help them live a more meaningful, independent life.