For years now, startup businesses have rocketed from relative obscurity to remake entire industries and redefine behaviors. But we rarely imagine new technology playing a role in the lives of seniors. Independent living facilities just don’t seem like places where technology’s reach extends. But nothing could be further from the truth. Below, we’ve put together a few examples of how the startup culture is being embraced by seniors in assisted living communities.
Assembling Family History
As we age, many of us are struck by an urge to better understand and connect with our heritage. This desire, coupled with more free time than ever before, allows seniors to indulge their interests and seek out information about their family history. Today, truly insightful genetics kits are just an online order away and affordably priced to make great holiday gifts. These kits allow seniors to get an incredibly detailed picture of their family’s past, and jump start their efforts to finally assemble that family tree.
Getting Around Town
Often, one of the most difficult parts of aging is giving up driving. In many cases, the inability to drive causes seniors to become isolated, leaving them vulnerable to depression. But with the proliferation of ride sharing apps, seniors can retain their mobility, and with it, a sense of independence. While independent living facilities plan regular outings, many seniors relish the opportunity to get out on their own with a few friends from time to time.
Seeing the World
We live in a world where the stuff of science fiction is quickly becoming part of everyday life. Virtual reality is one such area. It seems that only a few years ago, a virtual reality headset was an expensive splurge reserved for tech journalists and folks with more than a little disposable income. Today, virtual reality can be achieved with a pair of cardboard goggles and a smartphone. This ubiquity is helping seniors see the world. From touring the Louvre Museum in France, to finally seeing the Grand Canyon, to climbing Mount Everest, virtual reality is allowing seniors to take the trips they’ve longed to take.
It seems that organizing decades of family photos is an item on everyone’s retirement to do list. But as pictures accumulate, this project becomes ever more daunting. For seniors, sorting through boxes and assembling photo books can be an overwhelming prospect. But with the proliferation of easy-to-use online tools, seniors can finally take the time to put together family memories. In many cases, a tech-savvy family member will take the time to upload the physical photos into digital files. From there, several online platforms make it easy for seniors to assemble and order photo books.
In independent living communities, thanks to freedom from responsibilities like cooking and cleaning and the opportunities presented by a swinging social calendar, seniors often find themselves making wonderful new friends. However, for many, this is balanced by a longing for far-flung family members. Luckily, new technologies are quickly shrinking the distance between loved ones. In a few short years, we’ve gone from computer programs that provide spotty video calls, to easy-to-use smartphone apps for video calling, to voice-activated cameras that can instantly transport seniors into their children’s homes to converse with grandkids.
At Lexington Square, we make sure to connect our seniors in Elmhurst, IL and Lombard, IL with new technology and the opportunities it provides. To learn more about our tech-savvy community, give us a call at 630.812.7241.