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Healthy Lifestyle Choices – Another Benefit of Technology for Seniors

Healthy Lifestyle Choices – Another Benefit of Technology for Seniors

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We talk a lot about what innovative technology will mean to the lives of our senior loved ones in the future. Some of that future is already here, though.

Technology already helps our seniors – and us as their family caregivers – in many ways, such as staying safe while living at home alone, managing chronic medical conditions and improving socialization to prevent isolation through connectivity.

There’s more. You probably didn’t know that engaging on the internet has been found to lead to lifestyle choices that are tied to better overall health?

A recent research study found that our seniors who are web-savvy and are using the internet frequently have better overall health and lifestyle choices.

Healthy Lifestyle Benefits Found in Study

The research study found that those seniors who used the internet frequently typically:

  1. Received more preventive health screening, especially colorectal cancer screenings
  2. Were more physically active
  3. Didn’t smoke
  4. Ate a healthy diet

The more they used the internet, the more regularly they practiced healthy lifestyle choices.

This study shows that the more active seniors are using the internet for any reason, the healthier lives they led which results in successful (happier, healthier) aging.

Internet Activities for Our Seniors

  • Emailing – sending and receiving email messages from friends and families
  • Social networking – using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or a variety of other sites that promote connection and communication between those using the site
  • Sharing photos – putting photos online and reviewing other people’s photos through websites and sharing sites and don’t forget sharing yourself via Skype!
  • Seeking out health information – searching sites such as those of the CDC, WebMD and American Heart Association sites to gain more knowledge about diagnosed conditions or treatment options as well as prevention techniques (keeping in mind that the sites are more general in nature and the information isn’t based on individual situations)
  • Reading newspaper and magazines – being able to read newspapers from across the country or around the world or maybe their favorite magazines
  • Playing games – puzzles, brainteasers or other games played alone or against the computer or other players
  • Participating in online chats or support groups – talking with others about similar struggles or interests and offering other people advice from years of experience
  • Learning new skills – learning a foreign language or playing the piano or anything that interests your senior
  • Reading books – getting an app on the computer or tablet that allows your senior to read new and old titles in whichever font size works best, which lets them use their imagination to travel the world (or beyond) and seek adventure
  • Paying bills or other online financial activity – actions such as checking balances, paying bills, transferring funds, managing investments, or checking credit card activity
  • Watching programs or movies and listening to music – streaming movies and television programs, downloading music or uploading CDs already owned and enjoying them anywhere
  • Surfing the net – maybe even just for fun!

More Online Activity = More Benefit

If they are already occasional users, you can encourage your senior to add a few more of these activities into their routine.

If your senior loved one hasn’t started interacting with the internet, find an opportunity to get them started, set up a device for them and show them how to enjoy themselves using the activities listed above.

Are there other things that your seniors do while connecting on the world wide web? Please share your experiences with our community, we would love to hear from you!

Getting connected – and connecting with others – will improve so much more in their lives other than, say, monitoring blood sugar (although that is valuable too!).

Staying engaged will strengthen their minds and bodies and set them up for healthier lifestyle choices everyday!

One Response to Healthy Lifestyle Choices – Another Benefit of Technology for Seniors

  1. Older seniors 75+ are far less likely to use technology than their adult children, but you as family caregiver can help change that. When I recently spoke to a group of 40-some elders at a nice assisted living facility in Austin on Technology and the Future of Healthcare, I was surprised that not one of them used a PC or owned a smartphone or tablet. So I had to describe the benefits of connecting with friends & family with Skype or FaceTime or through email and picture sharing. I recommended the Apple iPad, because it’s well-suited for all age groups, from 2 to 102. (See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/2011/06/ipad-for-all-ages/.)

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