5 Pieces of Everyday Tech That Can Help Seniors Stay Healthy

The Baby Boomer generation is getting older—but the seniors that make up this group are definitely not getting left behind!

Even when it comes to technology, Boomers and other older Americans aren’t letting younger generations have the all the fun, or reap all the benefits!

Here are five modern technologies that older Americans are embracing—and a quick look at the amazing health and lifestyle opportunities that they can offer:

Smartphones

According to a story from U.S. News & World Report, the proportion of people aged 65 and older who owned a smartphone more than doubled in just over three years.

In 2013, only 18 percent of older Americans reporting owning a smartphone; as of 2016, that number had risen to 42 percent. That’s a remarkable climb!

Just like Millennials and Gen Xers, Baby Boomers are using their smartphones for all sorts of things, including sending emails, surfing the internet, and getting directions. Boomers are also active texters! According to a study from AARP, texting has overtaken email as the most used mode of communication for adults aged 50–59.

And there are also plenty of ways that Boomers can use their phones to stay healthy! For example, there are tons of smartphone apps available to help older Americans reach their wellness goals. Whether your focus is to run more, explore nature, practice mindfulness, or cook more nutritious meals, there is almost certainly an app out there that can help you.

Tablets

According to that same AARP study, more than 70% of adults age 50 or older own some type of “computing device,” including a desktop computer, a laptop, or a tablet.

More specifically, 40 percent of Americans age 50+ owned a tablet as of 2016; that’s a remarkable growth of six percentage points from the year before! When you drill down to those just between the ages of 50 and 59, more than half (51%) owned a tablet, as of 2016.

Like smartphones, tablets are a great way for Baby Boomers to handle their everyday business—and turn an eye toward their health and wellness goals! For example, the larger screen size and portability of a tablet makes it a great choice for streaming fitness videos, such as guided yoga or meditation sessions.

And, as the American Foundation for the Blind points out, users who may be noticing changes in their vision may benefit from having a tablet over a smartphone, since the larger size gives users “extra screen real estate, which will allow you to make text and images that much larger.”

Smart Speakers

As CNET suggests, many older Americans can be slow to adopt smart speakers and hubs, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. And while it may take “a conversation” to convince an older adult to get on board with smart home gadgets, these devices can be enormously beneficial to older Americans, helping protect their safety and preserve their independence.

For instance, these smart speakers can connect with many of the other systems in your house, allowing you to take control of your home without ever having to push yourself too hard. In particular, setting up home automation and voice commands could be an enormous help to people with mobility issues. Instead of, say, having to get up and turn off all of your lights manually, you may be able to do that chore with just a simple voice command.

As AARP notes, these smart speakers can also help older Americans who struggle with memory issues. Users can have their smart home “assistants” remind them of important dates, order groceries and other supplies, or even prompt them to take their medication or pay bills on time.

Wearable Devices

According to the AARP, more than one in ten adults (11 percent) over the age of 50 own a wearable device—a category which includes gadgets like the Fitbit or the Apple Watch.

While the AARP’s study shows that older Americans are slower to adopt wearable technology than younger generations, those who do buy into this major tech trend might see enormous health benefits.

For one thing, a lot of smart watches and other wearable devices allow for continuous monitoring of your health. Many of these devices allow you to collect and instantly share real-time data on vital health information, such as your activity levels, heart rate, and quality of sleep. In some cases, the data collected by wearables could help you or your healthcare team spot the risk of a major health event, and take preventative measures before it’s too late.

On a day-to-day level, wearables can also be a handy and fun way to track your health and keep up with your fitness goals, empowering you to make the healthy choices you may otherwise overlook!

The Internet

When it comes to plugging into the World Wide Web, older Americans definitely keep pace with their younger counterparts.

While only 12 percent of Americans aged 65 or older used the internet in the year 2000, times have certainly changed. As of 2016, more than two-thirds of older Americans are using the internet regularly, with more than 50 percent getting online at least once a day. On top of that, nearly a third use at least one social media site, such as Facebook or Instagram.

The bottom line? Older Americans today are more plugged in than ever before—and they can use all of this modern technology to connect with the very best health insurance options available!

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About Medicare Supplement Insurance

For millions of older Americans, Medicare supplement insurance is the gold standard in coverage. It’s private, supplemental insurance, designed to help pay for some of the health care costs that original Medicare doesn’t cover, including co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

Even with an original Medicare policy in place, these out-of-pocket medical expenses can add up, causing you to spend thousands of dollars each year. Supplemental insurance can help “fill in the gaps” in your coverage and defray these hefty costs, so you can spend your time and money on the things that matter most to you.

Want to talk about your options for free? Led by our owner and principal consultant Matt Peebles, the Enrollment Specialists are here to help you find the perfect plan to suit your lifestyle.

Even after we’ve helped you customize the plan that’s right for you, we’ll stick around. With the Enrollment Specialists by your side, health insurance superhero Matt Peebles will be your go-to guy, your advocate, and your main point of contact whenever you have any questions or concerns about coverage, for the entire life of your policy.

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