June 18, 2013

Staying Connected: Five Tips to Help Seniors Use a Smartphone

Filed under: Boomer,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 12:33 pm

Courtesy of Rianne Hunter [riannehunter@gmail.com]

Older generations always seem a little behind in their adoption of new technologies, and although the number of seniors accessing the internet and having fun with new gadgets is higher than one might expect, the smart phone remains a foreign piece of digital wizardry that’s too complex to master. Fortunately, there are some solutions for making it easy for seniors to access their smartphones, and many of those options stem from recently designed apps.

Consider a phablet

A “phablet” is a smart phone that’s larger than the average phone, but which isn’t quite big enough to be considered a tablet computer (phone + tablet = phablet). These large phones offer Staying Connected Five Tips Help Seniors Use A Smart Phonehuge interfaces that are perfect for seniors who can’t see the tiny icons on a traditional smart phone.

Find my Phone

Although this app is Apple-only, this program helps a person to find their phone if it is misplaced. The app is installed on the smart phone and an additional device (like an Apple computer), and when the smart phone is lost, the secondary device can help find it.

Durable smart phones

Dropping a smart phone often spells doom for these fragile devices, and it’s not uncommon for an elderly individual to have a little trouble hanging onto their phone every once in a while. There are a few very durable phones on the market that are terrific for use by seniors, such as a new smart phone from Caterpillar. Although it’s meant for construction sites, this phone is meant to be drop-proof and incredibly sturdy.

Pharmacy apps

Each major drug store offers a pharmacy app, and having drug information on hand is particularly valuable for seniors. Since many elderly individuals take multiple medications each day, a smart phone can help to track those medications and also to warn against any dangerous interactions between potential medicines. Great apps for Bell.ca windows phones include About Herbs and Davis’s Drug Guide.

Unlimited talk plans

Many smart phone users today utilize their devices for just about everything except talking. Seniors, on the other hand, tend to use their phones as they always have. It’s important when choosing a smart phone for a senior also to consider a talk plan with lots of minutes to encourage the senior to keep in touch with friends and family.

Although many seniors have only recently adopted the use of cellular phones, the arrival of smart phones definitely provides a valuable communication tool for people of all ages. Using a smart phone as a senior isn’t impossible, and with the right apps and device, anyone can learn to make use of this modern technology.


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