4 Ways Seniors Can Get in Touch with Technology

December 3, 2015

While technology makes incredible advances across personal, professional, and educational fields, many seniors are left out. Your older loved one may still own a flip phone or even rely on a home number, entirely opting out of the cellular craze. If they’re not up on some of the latest technology, they may miss out on valuable life-improvement opportunities.

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Not sure where to help a senior start the integration? Read on.


Switch to Online Bill Pay

Whether your loved one resides in an assisted living or independent living community, remembering to pay the bills is not always at the top of the priority list. Life gets busy, and we don’t always recall when it was time to address utility and medical bills. Looking to make this process easier? Encourage your senior loved one to turn to online bill pay.

First, make a list of all the bills you pay on a monthly basis. Then, contact each provider and ask if you can connect a credit or debit card or bank account so the company automatically withdraws a set amount for each month’s bill. The senior will receive a confirmation each time money leaves an account via email or postal mail, depending on the account holder’s preference. Your loved one won’t have to spend hours each month licking envelopes and applying stamps. Instead, he or she can use that time to pursue a hobby or enjoy a class instead!

online portal, physician, doctor, patient, seniorDoctors use online portals to talk to patients and inform them about prescription and appointment needs.


Online Medical Portals

It’s difficult to keep all those medical documents in order. While some seniors are great about filing away each document their doctor or hospital sends their way, others frequently lose prescription information and even post-procedure instructions. Not only does a disorganized medical history cause problems with finding certain data when you need it, it can also be dangerous.

One easy way to better track an older loved one’s medical information is to sign up for an online portal. Hospitals, clinics, and even specific physicians use these sites to talk securely with patients and ensure they have all the data they need about upcoming and past appointments or surgeries and prescription information. Many healthcare providers also send helpful tips for lowering high blood pressure or doing low-mobility exercises. Talk to the senior’s doctor or hospital to help the senior sign up for an account. Then, from a computer or tablet, you and the senior can easily see prescription dosage and interaction information and look at a calendar of appointments. Plus, you can contact the physician or a nurse with questions.

Upgrade Your Devices

While seniors may not need a huge data plan to spend hours using Instagram or flipping through Facebook, smartphones offer many advantages.

“Smartphones offer many advantages.”

If your loved one has an older device, consider upgrading to access the benefits of newer technology. Newer phones, tablets, and computers are more capable than past models. These improved devices offer apps to help your senior loved one manage medications, remember family gatherings and important appointments, and even locate missing keys. Not sure what tech to turn to? Call your children or an electronics store, and they’ll happily talk to you about potential upgrade options.


Get the Grandchildren Involved

Your senior loved one probably tried to make small talk with a grandkid only to find his or her face was buried in a phone or tablet. Looking for a way to connect? Seniors can use these technologies to communicate, too. They can try texting or posting on Snapchat daily to bond with their grandchildren. They’ll love seeing pictures of a goofy dog or a delicious lunch. Millennials and older generations can bond when they are using the same medium.

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