Convenient Tech Tips For Older Adults

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Periodically at our blog, we’ve offered advice on tech and social media options for older adults, as well as writing about topics like the latest on streaming television.

As tech is constantly growing and evolving, it’s worthwhile to check in from time to time to discuss more ways that older adults can best utilize the tools that are out there.

It’s especially important because, as prevalent as the technology is, older adults can often be late adopters. According to the AARP: “Older adults have an appetite for more tech, but many find it difficult to learn and navigate. Indeed, 68% of those 50-plus do not believe today’s technology is designed with them in mind.

While cost and data privacy are concerns, respondents most often say it’s the complexity of devices, software and hardware, as well as the lack of clear benefit, that makes them hesitant to buy, the AARP survey shows.”

Despite the reluctance of some older adults to adopt new technologies, they can be beneficial, especially for those who might struggle with mobility. If you need help learning how to work different apps and websites, ask a younger relative to help, or sometimes local senior centers run seminars on tech for older adults.

In this installment, we’re going to look at a few different tech options seniors can use to help make life a little easier, and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Grocery Delivery

As we get older, going to the grocery store can become more challenging. For older adults who can’t, or struggle, to drive it’s not easy just to get there. Even if driving isn’t a problem, it can be difficult to lift things like milk or flour, and get things off the higher shelves.

If that’s something you’d like to take off your to-do list, there are websites like Instacart, where you can order groceries online and have them delivered right to your home. Many of the large grocery chains also have in-house delivery services you can use as well.

Pros:

  • Like so many online services, it reduces the hassle for people for whom grocery shopping is becoming a challenge.
  • Available with most major grocery chains.
  • Delivery can be quick, often the same day.

Cons:

  • The delivery fee increases how much you’re spending.
  • The person doing the shopping wants to fulfill as many orders as possible as quickly as possible, and might pick up the wrong item(s) in their rush.
  • If the store doesn’t have something in your order, the person doing the shopping might just grab the next closest thing, even if it’s something you wouldn’t ordinarily purchase.

Meal Delivery

Much like with groceries, you can order meals from many of your favorite restaurants and have them delivered to your home through DoorDash, Uber Eats or other sites like them.

Pros:

  • Allows you to continue enjoying your favorite restaurants even if it’s hard to get out.
  • Saves you the time and cleaning that comes with cooking.
  • Don’t have to wait in line at a restaurant.

Cons:

  • As with groceries, the delivery fee increases the cost.
  • The delay from the time the food is ready to when it gets delivered to your house means it might need to be re-heated.
  • Missing out on the social aspect of an evening out at a restaurant.

Ridesharing

If driving is getting to be a challenge, and you’d rather let someone else take the wheel, ride sharing with Lyft or Uber can get you where you need to go.

The ridesharing services are available just about everywhere at this point, and can be a great service for people who don’t want to, or can’t drive, and prefer not to come and go according to a bus or public transit schedule.

One important tip: when ordering a rideshare, only get in if the driver matches the person the app showed you. If someone else shows up, cancel the ride.

Pros:

  • Prices are usually in line with, if not cheaper than, taxis.
  • In most parts of the country, drivers are usually just minutes away.
  • You can see pricing up front.

Cons:

  • You’re getting into a stranger’s car, which can be unnerving for some people.
  • Pricing can surge during particularly busy times.
  • Drivers are always in a hurry to get to their next fare, so they can sometimes be overly aggressive in traffic.

Virtual Doctor’s Visits

During the pandemic, virtual doctor’s visits became common, and it’s a trend that has continued in the years since.

Of course, for a virtual visit to be successful, you need a reliable phone, tablet or other device, reliable internet, and a comfort level with using Zoom, Google Meet or another videoconferencing program.

We also recommend that if you have a serious condition, or suspect you might, that an in-person visit is probably the better option to be able to have a more personal, in-depth conversation.

Pros:

  • If a doctor is running late, you’re still at home rather than in their waiting room.
  • For minor medical issues or regular health updates, it saves time by not having to go in.
  • Much easier for people who struggle with mobility and/or driving.

Cons:

  • Without being there in person, a doctor might not notice a separate condition he or she might catch in person, or notice changes in your health.
  • A virtual meeting can be impersonal.
  • Tech glitches can interrupt the time you have with them.

How Prestige Can Help

For those older adults for whom it’s increasingly difficult to get out and about, moving to Prestige can solve a lot of those issues! Our dining teams prepare restaurant-quality meals that residents love without having to leave the community.

We also have buses to take our residents to their appointments or on outings, and our health services teams help residents stay healthy, and work hand-in-hand with their medical providers to make sure they have everything they need.

Visit a Prestige community near you, and see how our team can help you or a loved one live healthily and happily.