Digital disruption is now an accepted part of our lives. Whether we like it or not, technology-aided change has invaded all aspects of our life. Whether working, shopping, cooking, washing, banking, entertainment, communication, and healthcare, there is no field untouched by technology. If we fail to adapt to it, we may just be left behind.
One of the biggest fears of ageing happens to be losing independence. Adapting technology can help seniors to overcome this a lot. Today, when technology aids in living better and independently, it is better to learn and adapt. When one can do almost all the work with a few taps, clicks, and swipes, why not use it as an opportunity to sharpen our brains and stay relevant?
How technology can help seniors?
Perhaps, by now, we have already seen how technology can help seniors since we have gone through the pandemic. Many people have now upgraded to using smartphones and gadgets to do their shopping or to keep in touch with their loved ones. So, what are some of how technology can specifically help seniors?
Shopping – Amazon and Flipkart can be used to shop for most household requirements, from groceries to household appliances. Specifically for grocery, you have apps like Bigbasket, Grofers, Nature’s Basket, JioMart, etc. Even supermarkets like DMart, Star Bazaar, Reliance, etc., have apps for home delivery. eBay can be checked out specifically for electronics. PepperFry and UrbanLadder can be checked out for furniture. Myntra and AJIO offer variety in apparel shopping. Nykaa is the latest trend in female beauty and cosmetic offerings. Ferns and Petals can be your go-to app for gifts and flowers. Apart from this, you have many more ShopClues, Limeroad, Snapdeal, FirstCry, Paytm Mall, etc., that can be checked out. Use PharmEasy, NetMeds, Apollo Pharmacy, etc., for medicine delivery.
Travel – Apps like Uber and Ola, and some local apps to specific cities are available for travel. These even offer outstation trips. If you prefer to drive, you could also try self-driving options like Zoomcar, Avis, Revv, etc. Apps like MakeMyTrip, EaseMyTrip, Booking.com, Goibibo, Yatra, Expedia, etc. can be used to plan and make complete travel bookings, including flight tickets.
Food – Zomato, Swiggy, Fasoos, Grubhub, and apps of individual outlets like Pizza hut can be used to order food in-house when you don’t or can’t cook.
Health and wellness – Apps like Cure.Fit, HealthifyMe, MyFitnessPal, Daily Yoga, Google Fit, etc., can help you with your health and fitness requirements. Apps like Let’s meditate, Dhyana, Om Meditation, etc., can help you become stress-free. Use smart watches or fitness trackers to keep track of your daily activity and health parameters. Apps like Blood Pressure Monitor, Medisafe, etc., also help. You could also use senior-specific phones like Easyfone which comes with many helpful features.
Safety Apps – Senior Safety app, HelpAge India app, etc. are a few safety and SOS apps that can be checked out.
Communication – Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp video calls, etc. help us keep connected with our loved ones.
Almost all businesses now provide online apps to access their services. Many government services and banking services are online too. Renewing a passport, changing some detail in Aadhaar, sending money to someone, or even sending anything to someone across the city, or maintaining personal finance, you have apps. You could also use apps to keep your brain sharp by trying out crossword or Sudoku kinds of apps. Specific to home safety, you can have smart devices installed like video calling bells, CCTV, alarms, fall alert systems, etc. to help seniors live a safer life.
How to adapt?
The best way to adapt to tech is to overcome the fear and take help if required. Start with a few simple apps and devices and progress to more complex ones like banking and credit card usage. For example, start with video calls, YouTube channels for recipes, WhatsApp posting, etc. Take formal or informal classes to understand how things work. Write down all your questions and get them answered. Understand how to use technology and the Internet safely, as there are chances of hacks and scams. Getting proper awareness is important.
Write or record steps to learn how to do some specific activities if they are too lengthy or complex. Many How-to books and articles can help with such things. Be patient and don’t get overwhelmed and give up easily. It may take time to get adjusted. Also, one need not learn everything, use what is applicable and helpful in your everyday life.
Note: Safety is essential. Hence, never share your passwords or OTPs, bank details, etc. with anyone. Never click on any suspicious links, even when shared by someone known. People forward links without checking. Learn to fact-check news and links.