- Smartphone: A smartphone is a personalized device with the capabilities of calling, messaging, emailing, accessing the Internet, taking pictures or videos, and downloading apps. Users of any age are quickly overwhelmed by all of the features provided! Yet funnily enough, some of those overwhelming features are settings to simplify the phone and provide easy-to-follow navigation. Below are examples of smartphones that may be best suited for seniors and their needs.
- Samsung GreatCall Touch3
An Android smartphone, the GreatCall Touch3 has a 4-inch touchscreen with a large icon menu list on the home screen. Its organized layout provides users simple access to often-used features like the phone, message center, camera, pictures, email and Internet. Its variety of health and safety features such as the 5Star app lets the user speak immediately with a certified health agent at all hours of the day.
- iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 Plus is not at all intimidating with its inventive Accessibility Menu. There are controls available to enlarge text and boldness, widen the app icons, and make navigation tools more prominent. Senior friendly, the iPhone 6 is equipped with settings created for the hearing or visually impaired. One of the fun features of this particular smartphone is the ability to organize apps into folders and pages.
- The Easy Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4
By activating the Easy Mode, the Galaxy Note 4 is able to boost the size of app icons, numbers on the keypad, and fonts. Only essential apps will be visible to the user, with simplified features put in place to lessen confusion. By swiping the home screen to the right, a list of the phone owner’s twelve most important contacts will appear for convenience.
- Wearable Computer: One of the main concerns with handheld devices is their nature of getting lost. Lately, wearable devices have been gaining momentum in the open market.
- Apple Watch
The Apple Watch is essentially a small computer that is worn on your wrist. It provides time keeping, communication methods, health and fitness apps, remote control features, and mobile payment options. It must be paired with an iPhone, but it is reliable and consoling. Since it is worn at all times, any and all emergencies can be quickly taken care of. The watch is water resistant, and comes with a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and a light sensor. The smart watch combines health, communication, and time keeping all in one.
- Tablet Computer: Tablets are similar to smartphones, with size being one of the main differences. Also known as minicomputers, Tablets have the ability to email, access the Internet, and store large amounts of data. They also are equipped with a camera, apps, and phone services. Choosing a tablet is not easy, but listed below are some ideas on minicomputers designed specifically for wary users.
- AARP’s new RealPad
Produced in partnership with Intel, the RealPad is an Android tablet with a 7.85-inch touchscreen. The homepage is clutter free, with easy access to frequently used icons. Unique features of the RealPad include 24/7 phone support, tutorial videos, and the “Real QuickFix” tool, which connects its users to technology support agents.
- Desktop Computer: Setting up a desktop computer is difficult and time consuming. Companies have recently been developing easy to use computers that are delivered set up for immediate use.
The Telikin is a ready to go touchscreen computer with simple access to most functions. Its features such as the Internet, email, games, video chat, photo sharing, news, and weather are displayed on the menu screen at all times. Available in two sizes (18.6 inch and 22 inch), the desktop computer comes with built-in speakers, a web camera, microphone, keyboard, and mouse. The convenient “tech buddy” system provides the senior’s caregiver or family members access to the Telikin from their own personal device. This is an easy way for the senior user to have assistance without contacting a tech support representative.
- Personal Emergency Response System (PERS): A common concern of family members is their loved one falling while alone and needing help. While phones and computers can easily help seniors reach medical assistance, it is not guaranteed that the senior will be in reaching distance of their handheld device at a time of emergency. A PERS is an infallible way of contacting a trained operator.
- Philips LifelineThis particular device provides a wearable “SOS” button in the form of a necklace, pendant, or bracelet. By pressing the button, the user is directed to an operator through the system’s base station receiver (this works as a powerful speaker phone). The operator contacted determines the problem, notifies family members or caregivers, and offers a solution. The Phillips Lifeline’s Auto Alert option even has fall detection sensors embedded in the SOS button. These sensors will automatically summon assistance just in case the user is too disoriented to press the SOS button.
Technology can provide needed support and peace of mind for caregivers and seniors alike. Don’t miss out on these five ways to keep your seniors healthy and in touch.
“Apple Watch FAQ: All Your Questions Answered!” IMore. N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
“Best Smartphones for Seniors – Consumer Reports.” Best Smartphones for Seniors – Consumer Reports. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
Miller, Jim T. “Personal Tech Products Designed Specifically for Seniors.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
“Savvy Senior.” Savvy Senior. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.