Seniors’ dependency on smartphones is steadily growing — 46 percent of seniors in the United States use a smartphone every day.
Whether you’re browsing for a new smartphone for yourself or shopping for a loved one, finding the right cell phone that will fit your lifestyle and learning curve are essential.
But when buying a smartphone for a senior, there are more things to consider, such as safety and convenience factors.
Aside from the necessities, seniors enjoy the features that come with smartphones as much as the rest of us. The question is, how are seniors using their smartphones?
Use #1: For Leisure
One of the most appealing things about a smartphone is the fact that it acts like a mini-computer.
On today’s smartphones, you can download thousands of apps, including games, social media, education, or for taking pictures. Audiobooks have also been on the rise over the past few years alongside podcasts.
More and more adults are listening to talks and stories every day, whether they’re on a commute, working, or hanging around the house.
Nearly 30 percent of adults over 55 years old listen to audiobooks — with a growing number of listeners using their smartphones to listen. These numbers likely have something to do with the numerous available platforms, but audiobooks are also great for those who are vision-impaired or would like a friendly voice.
Aside from the growing popularity of audiobooks, something that seniors are really latching onto is the ability to play games on their smartphones. According to a study, 17 percent of seniors play mobile games every day!
Whether the game is Solitaire or cognitive-building exercises, it’s evident that this demographic is taking advantage of their smartphones.
Use #2: Tracking Health
Although considered a game, smartphones give seniors the ability to maintain their mental sharpness by playing cognitive-based games. Furthermore, most smartphones offer health applications that help manage medications.
For those who are experiencing health issues, the good news is that smartphones like Jitterbug offer a variety of safety applications. These include a daily check-in call, health tips, brain games, and even a wellness call from a certified health practitioner or doctor.
The best part is that thanks to Jitterbug’s 5Star service, your loved one will never be out of reach when it comes to urgent care.
Use #3: Emergency Care
The best part about smartphones is that they’re mobile — which means they go anywhere you do. This is especially useful in potentially dangerous situations, such as:
- If you are lost and need directions getting someplace immediately
- If you are walking alone and want to keep in contact with somebody
- If you have fallen or injured yourself and require immediate help
In fact, 137 more lives are saved per 100 thousand patients if emergency services are called from a cellphone as opposed to a landline. This is because mobile phones are generally always on a person’s body, which means the user can notify emergency services quicker.
Although all cell phones allow you to contact emergency services, Jitterbug offers an impressive feature that is unlike any safety feature. 5Star is an emergency service only provided on Jitterbug cellphones with seniors in mind.
With the touch of a button, 5Star will immediately connect your loved one to a trained agent that can confirm their location, evaluate the situation, and get help if necessary. The agent can also connect you with a family member and will stay on the phone with you until you are safe.
Use #4: Stay Connected
Aside from daily visitations, smartphones are the best way to connect with friends and family. Thanks to the smartphone’s ability to chat with anyone at the touch of a button and access the internet, staying updated has never been easier.
With today’s technology, it’s not uncommon to have Grandma or Grandpa on your Facebook friends list. 35% percent of seniors use social media to stay in touch with friends and family.
The large touchscreen that comes with a smartphone also makes it easy to navigate and video chat with loved ones — which is an ideal feature for long-distance caregivers.
Use #5: Access To Information
The internet has become a central information hub for everybody, even if they’re a world apart. Thanks to the digital world, we are always connected to each other and an abundance of knowledge.
It might not surprise you to learn that seniors who are connected to the internet use it for a variety of reasons, including accessing email, checking GPS, weather, bills, and other important information.
Obviously, people use their smartphones for a variety of reasons — but it’s apparent that seniors are using their smartphones to access relevant information, GPS when driving or walking, reviewing the weather forecast, or checking the date and time.
In this way, smartphones are incredibly helpful for those who suffer from memory loss, access to a device that always has your location is incredibly helpful and helps ensure safety. Having the date and time on hand is also a gentle reminder if they are confused.
Although the younger generations have a hold on today’s smart technology, seniors are not far behind. They are also grasping the convenience and benefits of smartphones, with tech adaption rates among seniors growing each year.
It is becoming indisputable that more seniors are adapting to the “smart” lifestyle each year. Within the span of 5 years, smartphone ownership among seniors climbed from 18 to 42 percent.
There’s hardly a surprise: smartphones are like a computer in your pocket that allows you to stay busy and connected — which is especially vital for senior citizens. Thanks to smartphones, seniors can spend time playing games, listen to books, chat with friends and family, stay connected to emergency lines, and find information with the click of a button.
So whether you are looking at Apple, Android, or Jitterbug, consider a smartphone to see what can fit in the palm of your hand!