5 Technologies That Help Seniors During COVID
The spread of COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way people live. Recommendations to stay at home, social distancing, and wearing masks pushed people farther apart. Friends and family could no longer visit each other without fear of contracting the virus.
One group of people that COVID-19 has affected the most is older adults. As people age, their immune systems are less likely to fight infection. With the advice for younger people to not visit their elderly loved ones in person, seniors were left alone without access to their loved ones.
Fortunately, technology has helped the elderly navigate COVID-19 restrictions. At the beginning of the pandemic, it seemed as though older adults and the coronavirus couldn't coexist. Yet, with these five technologies to help seniors during COVID-19, the seemingly impossible has been made possible.
1. Cellphones, Tablets and Laptops
Virtual connections have kept the elderly from feeling lonely. Once they learned how to use various technologies, they could video call other people while in isolation. Although not much can replace physical presence and touch, cellphones, tablets and laptops enabled older adults to see family members' and friends' faces regularly.
Additionally, older adults could connect with other seniors and take classes or learn through lectures virtually. This has helped them not feel so lonely while still being engaged in community-like events.
2. Home Grocery and Meal Delivery
Another excellent technology for the elderly during COVID-19 has been the home grocery and meal delivery services. Many companies have pulled their weight and went on the front lines during the pandemic to help small businesses survive, including restaurants and local grocery stores that could provide fresh food or meals to older adults.
Even Instacart, a popular grocery delivery service, has created a program to help over 60,000 seniors purchase groceries online. Their Senior Support Service has helped elderly customers learn how to use the service to limit their time being in public for health safety reasons.
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Telemedicine has enabled older adults and other people to get medical advice online without ever having to step into a doctor's office. The elderly can share their medical information via electronic communications to improve their health without entering a hospital that could hold patients with COVID-19.
Besides the safety benefits of telehealth for seniors, such as reducing their exposure to germs, getting immediate care without the need for travel and ensuring they get their medications on time, it also helps them financially. For example, those living in nursing homes could reduce health care costs by using telemedicine because they wouldn’t have to pay for room and board. Remote evaluations and treatments eliminate unnecessary office visits, saving individuals over $100 for in-person care.
4. Virtual Home Assistants
Assistants have been great technologies for seniors during COVID-19. Each of these virtual assistants have been able to help with COVID-19. In one study, each of the assistants answered questions regarding the pandemic at a basic level.
With virtual assistants, the elderly can ask questions without logging into a mobile device or laptop, which eases frustrations they may have with technology. They can stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information and can even be reminded of appointments or other tasks they have throughout the day. Plus, they can easily call their loved ones using a virtual assistant, which keeps them connected.
5. Medical Alert Systems
Finally, medical alert systems have also been beneficial for the elderly during COVID-19. Millions of senior citizens fall every year. Usually, those falls happen when older adults are alone. Because of the pandemic, seniors have to isolate themselves more than ever, meaning they are at higher risk of falling when no one else is around.
Family members and caretakers have not checked in on their elderly friends and family, so, fortunately, medical alert systems are available for older adults to use when an emergency occurs. They integrate motion sensors and location tracking all in one personal help button.
Seniors Navigating COVID-19 With the Help of Technology
Technology can't replace human connection and interaction, but it comes in handy when it's safest to isolate and social distance. With technology, seniors have been able to stay connected with loved ones and get the necessary assistance to live healthily.
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Shannon Flynn - Managing Editor at ReHack
With over 4 years of writing and editing experience, Shannon focusses on covering topics like medical, health, and lifestyle technology.
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