Technology and Independence for All: 7 Ways Tech Can Enhance the Lives of Seniors

7 Ways Tech Can Enhance the Lives of Seniors

Independence is a priority for most seniors. As developments in technology increase, it becomes easier for seniors to maintain their independence. There are many ways technology can improve daily life. For instance, it can aide in completing daily tasks, managing health, teaching new things, and monitoring safety. Older adults simply need to take the time to learn how to use new devices and tools.

Here are some ways technology can assist you on a daily basis:

1. Completing Chores

Many seniors want the ability to take care of important tasks on their own. This includes cooking, eating, washing, and other chores. There are a variety of tech tools that can help seniors perform these daily tasks.

  •  Smart Assistants – According to California Mobility, “17% of seniors use voice-activated home assistants.” (1) Smart assistants can answer questions, provide reminders, control lights and thermostats, provide updates about deliveries, and much more. They are useful devices for seniors who are living alone.
  • Robotic Vacuums – These can clean carpets and floors for you.
  • Smart Lighting – Lights can be controlled via smart assistants or apps and prevent seniors from needing to cross a room in the dark.
  • Programmable or Smart Thermostats – Smart thermostats allow you to program a schedule for your HVAC system and also allow you to change the home temperature remotely.
  • Assistive Technology for Seniors – There are a variety of other assistive technology devices for the elderly who are living alone including emergency alarms, large-print phones and tablets, hearing aids, and power lift recliners.  This tech equipment can help keep you safe and ease struggles when performing daily tasks.
  • Medical Alert DevicesMedical alert devices can help keep you safe while you perform daily chores. This device provides you with 24/7/365 access to an emergency response agent at the touch of a button. Options include an in-home personal alarm button and an on-the-go emergency alarm for seniors who enjoy traveling. You can also get both models with fall detection. This includes a sensor that will automatically contact an agent when it registers a fall.

If you want the most tech-savvy emergency response solution, you can opt for a medical alert wrist watch. It looks just like a normal watch and can tell you the time, weather, and how many steps you have taken. All these models can help keep you safe while you go about your daily routine, however, this is just one way technology can improve your life.

2. Managing Medical Needs

With a computer or smart device, you can easily manage doctor appointments and medications.

  •  Making Appointments – You can schedule doctor appointments online. Some health networks keep your electronic medical records, remind you of upcoming appointments, and allow you to manage certain medications online. A study published on California Mobility found that, “40% of seniors would agree to use technology to track their health.” (2)
  • Telehealth – Telehealth can allow you to access healthcare services remotely. You can talk to the doctor from the comfort of your own home, ask questions, get advice, and even get prescribed medications.
  • Medication Dispensers – If you need a reminder to take your prescriptions, medication dispensers can provide you with audible alerts to take your pills. The tamper-proof container can also distribute the exact number of pills that you need to take.
  • Learning about Medications – Any device with access to the internet can allow you to look up information about your medications including their purpose, side effects, and interactions with other drugs. You can also use apps such as GoodRX that can help you find the cheapest place to get your medications.

3. Independent Learning

According to MarTech, “Seniors have realized the greatest benefit of the Internet—free access to unlimited information! Therefore, research shows that at least 82% of seniors use search engines to find information on topics of their interest.” (3) You can use the internet to learn about nearly any topic you want. Whether you want to learn a new skill, a new craft, read some interesting stories, or get information about events in the news, technology can assist you.

  •  Blogs, Articles, and Webpages – There are countless blogs, articles, and webpages to educate you on a variety of topics. You can find them by typing a question or keyword into any search engine.
  • E-Books – If you want more in-depth knowledge about a subject, you can also download e-books onto your computer, e-reader, or tablet. Some popular apps include Amazon Kindle, Google Play books, Apple books, and Barnes & Nobel Nook.
  • Videos – Videos are useful for visual learners. You can watch video tutorials on YouTube by visiting their website or opening their app. Simply type a question or topic into the search bar.
  • Virtual Classes – If you prefer videos, but are looking for something a little more interactive, you can also try virtual classes. These are often similar to a class that you would take at a school. However, you can participate from the comfort of your own home. Some classes are available for free while other classes require payment.

4. Shopping

It can be a struggle for some seniors to get out of their home. This makes grocery and necessity shopping difficult, especially if you cannot drive and live in a remote area. Technology can assist with this problem as well. If you don’t want to rely on family or neighbors to take you shopping, you can order the items you need online and even have them delivered.

  •  Food Delivery – There are plenty of ways to get prepared food or groceries delivered to you. Some popular apps that will deliver restaurant food include GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats. Apps that can deliver groceries to you include Instacart, Flipp, MealBoard, Anylist, and GroceryPal.
  • Amazon – You can find a variety of goods on Amazon including clothing, cleaning supplies, household tools, furniture, and more. You can order items through the website or app.
  • Other Shopping – Most stores nowadays offer virtual shopping for customers. If you have a favorite store, search for them online to find out if you can buy their products on their website or app.

5. Socializing

If you can’t make it out of your home to mingle regularly, technology can provide you with other ways to socialize.

  •  Social Media AARP states, “Three quarters of all adults ages 50 and older use social media on a regular basis, primarily Facebook, followed by YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.” (4) Apps or websites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat can allow you to keep in touch with family and friends. Both you and your loved ones can post status updates, photos, and videos so you can keep up with the events happening in each other’s lives.
  • Video Chats – If you want to talk to a specific person directly, you can video chat. Some popular apps include Skype, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Google Duo, Microsoft Teams, and FaceTime.
  • Texting – According to California Mobility, “56% of seniors send text messages to loved ones daily.” (5) If you have a phone, you can send written messages to your loved ones. Then they can reply to you with another text message. This a useful way to communicate if you have difficulty hearing people on the phone.
  • Medical Alert DevicesFall alert systems for seniors are another useful communication device for seniors. If you experience any sort of emergency, this emergency response solution can provide you with an instant and reliable way to get immediate help.

By pressing a single button, you can talk to an emergency response agent through either the base station (if you have an in-home emergency alert system) or directly into your mobile panic button alarm.

This is more reliable than using a cell phone as you should always have a medical alert device with you. This device also guarantees that someone will be available to help you at any time you may need. There is no need to worry if you loved one is busy and can’t answer their phone. Additionally, you only need to press a single button rather than multiple. If you opt for a fall alarm button, the device can automatically contact an emergency response agent for you when it registers a fall.

6. Transportation

Many seniors need to rely on others to take them to the places that they need to go. If you don’t want to rely on a family members or neighbors for rides, technology can help you get from point A to point B.

You can use apps on your phone or smart device to request rides. You simply fill out what time you need the ride and where you need to go. Then the app will tell you how much it will cost and will notify you when your driver arrives. Some popular apps include Uber, Lyft, Curb, Gett, and Wingz.

While most drivers are friendly and have good intentions, it is always important to be on guard when accepting rides from strangers. You may find it helpful to let a friend or family member know when you leave and when you arrive. You should also wear your on-the-go emergency medical alert wrist watch so that you have an instant way to contact someone for help if you need it.

7. Safety

Safety is a high priority for seniors. You want to know that you will be protected in the event of an emergency. Some devices that improve your security include:

  • Security Systems – Video doorbells can show you who is on your property via and app. You can also purchase window sensors, motion detection devices, and locks that can be changed remotely. Based on research completed by AARP, “59% of seniors use door cameras, 39% use window sensors, and 42% use sensors that monitor appliances. (6)
  • Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – These can alert you if there is a fire or carbon monoxide leak in your house so that you can evacuate safely.
  • Medical Alert SystemsPersonal alarm buttons offer seniors 24/7/365 protection for a variety of emergencies including falls, medical emergencies, fires, and break-ins. At the touch of a button, they will instantly put you in contact with an emergency response agent who can help you.

Increase Your Independence Today

Join the ever-growing number of seniors who are adopting technology into their lives. If you want to experience the benefits of tech equipment, get started today by purchasing a smart phone, computer, tablet, security system, or medical alert pendant for the elderly. Many of these devices were designed to improve your quality of life and retain your independence.




1,2,5 California Mobility staff. n.d. 21 Senior Technology Statistics. California Mobility. 21 Senior Technology Statistics.

3 Djordjevic, Nikola. July. 2019. Seniors and the Internet. MarTech. Infographic: Senior Citizen Mobile and Internet Usage Statistics.

4 Kakulla, Brittne Nelson. Jan. 2020. Technology. AARP. Older Adults Keep Pace on Tech Usage.

6 AARP staff. 2020. Jan. 2020. AARP Research. AARP. Tech Trends and the 50+.