Staying Healthy with the Help of Technology

Health & Wellness
Technology To Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Posted: September 25, 2023

Today’s seniors are active adults looking for ways to contribute to society and live full, thriving lives—including embracing technology. Technology to help seniors with their well-being includes apps and websites for promoting physical activity, sharpening cognition and maintaining social connections. According to the AARP, smartphone adoption is 86 percent among Americans age 50 to 59 and 81 percent for those 60 to 69. Meanwhile, 62 percent of those 70 and older use smartphones. Here are some ways to take full advantage of our high-tech world. 

Promote Physical Activity with an App

Exercise and physical activity are vital components of healthy aging. According to the CDC, even a moderate amount of physical activity every day can reduce the risk of heart disease and developing high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes. Increasing stamina and muscle control can reduce the risk of falling and help you stay healthier longer.

Decreased strength and muscle loss are some of the leading causes of falls for seniors. At Cappella of Pueblo West our Movement 4 Life Program incorporates 4 major movements and increased regular activity to reduce the risk of falling for residents. 

Motivating yourself to exercise is a problem for all ages. When we are older, joint swelling, arthritis and pain can be discouraging and cause us to avoid activity. Doing what you can, even if only walking a few minutes a day, can make a difference. For those wishing to pump up their physical activity, there are a variety of free apps and websites with workout videos. Here are a few resources to consider:

  • The MapMyRun and MapMyWalk apps track distance, elevation and speed while showing you popular routes in your area and letting you connect with friends. The popular Couch to 5K fitness app takes you step by step through a walking or running plan in a progression that suits your ability and fitness level.
  • Healthy Heart tracks blood pressure through Bluetooth by pairing it with a blood pressure meter.  For people with diabetes, MySugr keeps track of essential therapy data such as blood sugar, meals, activity, insulin and much more. Medical alert systems can help older adults live independently for longer. Read a review of the top home medical alert options here. And for seniors with heart conditions, AliveCor KardiaMobile is a portable EKG device that can fit into your pocket.

Wearable technology to help seniors, like the Fitbit or Apple Watch, not only makes it easy to track wellness, but some recent models can also monitor heart rates and send medical notifications in case of a heart attack.

Training the Brain, Digitally

Just as staying physically active can help promote physical activity, learning new things, like how to use technology, can stimulate the brain and sharpen cognition skills. Digital brain games allow older adults to engage independently or with others, helping to combat loneliness and the effects of isolation.

While there isn’t conclusive evidence that training the brain digitally can reduce age-related dementia symptoms, a study by Harvard Health does show how a multidimensional approach, like playing chess or checkers, bridge, or doing crossword puzzles in conjunction with playing online video games can build cognitive reserve. So when thinking about training the brain, it’s wise to consider both digital and analog resources. The AARP hosts a game page with a selection of digital brain games, crossword puzzles and card games.

Some of the top brain training apps of 2023 include:

  • Lumosity offers five-minute brain training exercises meant to improve memory, attention and problem-solving and response skills.
  • Peak provides users with a personal “coach” that guides, encourages and otherwise helps users reach their brain training goals through daily challenges and tests.
  • Elevate has various areas to focus on, including vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, articulation, listening and more, with a clean and easy-to-navigate user interface.
  • Memorado is a more scientific app designed to let users choose which areas of their brain they’d like to improve, then provides a schedule of five daily games.
  • Cognifit is a more advanced platform for all kinds of learning, including short-term memory and hand-to-eye coordination that keeps score for users to determine which areas might need more work.

Keeping residents engaged and stimulated mentally is part of the four facets of successful aging central to life enrichment at Cappella of Pueblo West. We understand that the mind is a muscle that benefits from regular exercise, just like our bodies. Read more about life enrichment at Cappella of Pueblo West here.

Maintaining Social Connections

Staying socially connected is as important to staying healthy as is staying physically active and mentally sharp. While in-person connection is the best, it is not always possible, making social media sites and other apps invaluable. According to the Pew Research Center, about 79% of senior adults use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family.

For seniors who are looking for a social media platform that exclusively caters to people around their age, MyBoomerPlace might be exactly what they are seeking. Accessible on the web and via app, this site makes it easy to initiate your own social media page and meet like-minded seniors. Offering plenty of profile customization options, MyBoomerPlace is a great way to check out social media, especially for those who might not be comfortable with Facebook. 

While many seniors might feel as though they’re too old to use TikTok, chances are, their grandchildren are probably using it. The popular social media app allows users to create, watch and share short videos. With its personalized feeds of quirky short videos set to music and sound effects, the app is notable for its high levels of engagement. According to Wallaroo Media, more and more older adults are on TikTok now than ever before.

Marco Polo is a video-sharing service that many families use to send videos of grandchildren to grandparents, and grandparents can send videos in return of them reading books to their grandchild or singing songs.

Virtual reality, popular in the gaming industry, is being used to help people maintain social connections as well. Programs like Rendever and MyndVR offer a variety of virtual experiences that allow seniors who are socially isolated to connect with others and the outside world.

At Cappella of Pueblo West, we understand the strain of social isolation. Our assisted living staff is skilled at finding creative ways to keep residents socially engaged. We leverage technology to elevate and enhance our programs while also investing energy into nurturing deep personal relationships. 

Technology at Home

Technology to help seniors has become an integral part of aging and enabling older adults to contribute to society and live full, thriving lives. And its influence is growing. Smart home devices, like Google Home and Amazon Echo allow users to set alarms and medication reminders, play music, control home lighting, shop and more. Video doorbells, smart thermostats and wireless sensor networks that monitor vital signs make living at home safer and can give you peace of mind. Robots are being developed to provide companionship, and it won’t be long before there are robots that act as caregivers and help older adults with the tasks of daily living.

While technology can improve our lives in many ways, home isn’t always the safest or best choice for many seniors. A senior living community can provide a place to live an active lifestyle, find purpose and maintain social connections. Assisted living communities, like Cappella Pueblo West provide life enrichment activities that meet the social, intellectual, inspirational and physical needs of residents. Residents can enjoy their day independently or in harmony with others, free from the cares of household maintenance.

Contact us to learn more about assisted living at Cappella of Pueblo West and read what residents have to say about our retirement community.

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Cappella Pueblo West Senior Living Community is managed by Christian Living Communities and offers person centered assisted living. Cappella Pueblo West Senior Living Community is located in Pueblo West, Colorado and services the areas in and around Pueblo, Stone City, Penrose, Wetmore, Stem Beach, North Side, Vineland, Avondale, North Avondale, Fowler, and Boone. We also are an ideal senior community for those in the zip codes 81007, 81008, 81001, 81003, 81005, 81240, 81253, 80926, 81244, 81226, and 81006.

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