The stereotype of seniors not being able to use a computer is quickly becoming as outdated as pagers, Walkmans and 8-tracks. These days, it’s nearly impossible to live a life apart from technology – and why would you want to, considering how many benefits it can bring to your life?
“Boomers are adopting technology into their lives at a rapid rate, and we’re not just talking about smartphones and remote car starters,” says Jake Quigley, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle. “Although some of the older generation may view tech as something that’s frivolous and a waste of time, they’re probably already benefitting from technological advances without even realizing it.”
For example, think of the advances made in medical technology, such as laparoscopic surgery, that allow us to recover from invasive surgeries in a fraction of the time than we would have in the past. Or safety features in automobiles, such as airbags, lane-drift detection and automatic braking that could mean the difference between safety and an accident if your reactions aren’t quite what they used to be.
“The point is that technology is far from frivolous and can have incredible benefits to your life, both directly and indirectly,” says Jake. “Perhaps the biggest way technology directly affects seniors is by helping to keep them informed and connected on a regular basis in varied and easy ways.”
According to a 2017 Pew Research Center report, approximately two-thirds of adults age 65 and older own smartphones and go online. The report shows that this adoption is only increasing year after year, even if they may require a little more assistance than other generations in learning how to use the technology properly. And seniors who are using technology to learn new ideas and connect with the world around them say that doing so makes them feel more capable and better adjusted, allows them to gain new perspectives and make new friends and enables them to stay connected to friends, family and their communities.
Technology & Connection
Perhaps the first thing we all think about when we hear the word “technology” are things like computers, tablets and smartphones. For the majority of us, we use these tools to connect with others we care about, whether through email, texting, going old-school with a phone call or using apps like Snapchat, Skype or Facebook. Thanks to the Internet, connecting with others has never been faster or easier. Although it may seem a little foreign at first, sending texts to your grandchildren or snapping a pic to send to your daughter are fantastic ways to communicate. Sure, it’s nice to schedule a time to actually sit and have a lengthy chat, but instant communication is a great way to send bite-sized “I love yous” throughout the day or stay up-to-date on what’s happening in loved ones’ lives.
Technology & Safety
Staying safe is important for all of us. For older adults, it’s possible to use technology to live a safer, more connected life. It seems like every day there's a new app or system or device going into the market that makes it easier and more convenient to connect with your doctors, loved ones and services that will help you get assistance when you need it as quickly as possible. The benefits can be both direct and indirect.
On a direct level, there are many apps out there that can allow you to sync with your medical devices or otherwise watch and regulate your health. For example, new insulin pumps allow you to monitor your blood sugar with the push of a button, give you alerts when something needs attention and can also connect with family members and sometimes even emergency personnel if needed.
Indirectly, technology can keep you safer in less obvious ways. Your GPS on your phone can help you keep from getting lost when you’re out and about (and even help you locate your car in a parking lot if you’ve forgotten where you’ve parked). Credit and bank applications can help monitor your bank accounts and alert you if there’s anything suspicious going on. In so many big and little ways, technology can make staying safe a whole lot easier.
Technology & Entertainment
Besides connection, the biggest use of technology is to entertain. Thanks to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and more, you can watch just about any TV show or movie you desire, just by clicking a few buttons. You can also play games, whether it’s something basic like Words with Friends (a digital version of Scrabble), memory quizzes and puzzles or multiplayer games that connect you to users around the world and allow you to create an online life in a thriving digital community. You can also take part in joining the entertainment aspect by creating a blog, posting YouTube videos or creating a site to which you can post images of your creative work (like painting, photography, etc.).
Technology & Information
Yet another way technology enriches the lives of seniors is by providing a wealth of information on any (and we mean any) topic you can think of. Obviously, you can stay abreast of current events and breaking news. But you can also use the Internet as your digital university, learning how to do everything from coding to cooking to underwater basket weaving and much, much more. You can get a degree or learn a trade, start your own community and stay informed on aspects related to your health. No longer do you have to wonder about the answer to a question. Pull out your smartphone, tap away and voila – all the answers are at your fingertips.
“Technology has rapidly become integrated into every aspect of our lives, so living a tech-savvy lifestyle is easier than you may think,” says Jake. “At Waterstone at the Circle, we are ‘plugged in’ to the latest technologies and love helping our residents stay connected and informed so they can live the active, independent lifestyle they deserve.”
If you’d like to learn more about technology use and seniors, or if you’re wondering how a luxury community like Waterstone at the Circle can help you live a vibrant, active and fulfilled life, contact us today at 617.431.1880.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and a vibrant lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring. . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our vibrant Boston Independent Living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!