Seniors are often not very tech savvy and all these new technologies sometimes seem complicated to them. But they are not as averse to smartphones, tablets etcetera as younger generations often think. That a senior will not use his smartphone to the same extent as a 17-year-old teenager, who grew up with all these modern possibilities, is clear. However, there are still plenty of uses of smartphones in the everyday life of seniors, giving them entertainment, access to information, possibilities of communication and security.
How popular are smartphones amongst seniors ?
Back in 2016 a survey revealed that 42% of all Americans older than 65 got a smartphone. In recent years, this number has always increased a bit. So the picture we have of elderly people not being interested in smartphones and new technologies is largely wrong. In the past more and more seniors got taught how to use smartphones and they are really interested in it.
Benefits of Smartphones
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, smartphones can bring many benefits to our life. Why should seniors not use them the same as teenagers or adults do? Here are the most important benefits for seniors:
The first great benefit is staying in contact with friends and family. By using a smartphone it is really easy to keep in contact with family and friends via free text messengers as for example WhatsApp or iMessage. Also free video-calls are possible within those apps, that is great because seniors can talk face to face with their relatives. Especially when the family is living far away or does not have the time to visit, this is a great opportunity to get close and personal contact with them.
Finding new friends or having good relationships is sometimes hard, especially in high age. In that case, the use of social networks such as Facebook is great to get in touch with peers or people having the same interests as you. With Facebook its also possible to invite friends to events or activities, all these functions are good ways to improve social relationships. Except from Facebook there are special social networks and dating apps for seniors. A really good one is for example “Stich“. It is exclusive for people older than 50 years and you can use it to make new friendships, chat with existing friends and also to find a love relationship, if you want. But besides this one, there are many other possibilities available. You can easily search them on the internet, and choose the one, that suits you the most.
Also health tracking is a great way to to make use of your phone. With intelligent apps such as apples “health“ app or googles “Google Fit“ app, it is possible to keep track of your health. You can check easily if you took all your medicine or how much you walked today. You can also put your personal information such as your name, adress, age but also health informations such as blood type, medication that must be taken or allergies and intolerances in this apps. In case of emergency, the emergency doctor can easily check these facts and can consider that information.
Organising your life is another good thing where your phone is able to help you, especially as an elderly. Forgetting things is totally normal, and with to-do-lists on your phone you can get the daily reminders you probably need. Also digital calendar apps are great to plan things. With this on your phone you are able to look up upcoming events quick and easily on the go.
If you have problems with navigating and you are afraid of getting lost somewhere in the city, your phone can assist you here as well. With the free app Google Maps you can download maps of selected regions on your phone. After the downloads, they are also available offline. Now you can go for your runs or walks, and whenever you need a direction, you can check the maps on your phone, even without internet connection.
Smartphones are also real multimedia providers. You can read newspapers, listen to music and watch your favourite movies or tv shows on the go. There is also a huge range of simple games which are really suitable to elderly persons. A phone offers so many different things they can do during their free time, so maybe the risk of feeling lonely and bored is getting lower.
What is the best phone for seniors?
It is really hard to say which one is the best because there are so many different phones on the market. Some are quite expensive, others more affordable. The most important thing is to test them, because every single one is slightly different. It is not a good idea to surprise someone with a device, we would rather advise to go shopping with the future user so they can decide for themselves.