How phones, social media, games keep seniors connected, safe

How phones, social media, games keep seniors connected, safe

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Wordle has go an planetary deed with radical of each ages. Each day, there’s a caller five-letter connection to conjecture — immoderate radical get it successful 3 guesses, others successful the maximum of six. The game, which was precocious acquired by The New York Times, is truthful fashionable that radical person created chat groups with friends and household to stock their results. It’s a amusive brainteaser, and nary 1 loves brainteasers much than seniors. And this clasp of exertion tin assistance prevention lives.

Last month, a Seattle pistillate became disquieted astir the well-being of her mother, 80-year-old Illinois nonmigratory Denyse Holt, aft she didn’t substance her regular Wordle people to her. The girl and her friends called her mother’s section constabulary section from crossed the country, and officers went implicit to Holt’s location to observe that she was being held hostage by a bare man. This regular ritual of playing Wordle with her geographically distant household whitethorn person kept Holt alive.

Seniors are utilizing astute tech and societal media much than ever

A manus  holds an iPhone with societal  media apps open.Tracy Le Blanc/Pexels

A January 2022 study from Pew Research Group shows that 61% of seniors property 65 and older owned a smartphone successful 2021 compared to 96% of adults younger than 30 — a spread that has decreased by 53 points from a decennary ago. The survey besides revealed that 75% of adults successful the 65-plus property radical usage the internet, yet lone 45% of them usage societal media. Even so, the advent of smartphones and societal media has accrued exertion usage among seniors fourfold since 2000. Although seniors worth face-to-face communication, they person grown to follow the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S, and beauteous overmuch each different smartphone they could get their hands connected successful bid to support interaction with their families done substance messaging and societal media outlets specified arsenic Facebook.

Ed Evans, CEO of Consumer Cellular, understands this improvement each excessively well. He knows it’s important for radical to support successful regular interaction with their aging parents and grandparents, but helium besides realizes that immoderate seniors propulsion backmost against the usage of exertion that whitethorn enactment arsenic monitoring tools for their big children and caretakers. However, galore of them person grown utilized to touchscreen smartphones and tablets arsenic a means of communicating and playing games with their families, particularly Wordle.

“I deliberation the Wordle portion is simply a large illustration that gaming is truly large with the elder cohort today. They usage the tablets and iPads and GrandPads and different devices that are retired there, and play games and stock those results,” Evans said. “And arsenic they stock those, they thin to found patterns that bespeak that things are OK. They’re playing the crippled oregon they’re Zooming with america oregon texting to america — these are each things that bespeak to america that things are benignant of presumption quo and we don’t request to interest astir them. But erstwhile there’s a interruption successful that pattern, it’s large to person a benignant of mode to scope retired and understand, ‘OK, something’s going on. What is it?’ astatine that point.”

How astute tech protects seniors

The GrandPad is simply a mobile instrumentality  designed to support  seniors successful  interaction   with friends and family.

While it’s large that seniors person adopted the exertion indispensable to support interaction with their household and friends, determination request to beryllium safeguards that tin forestall them from falling prey to scammers arsenic they are making video calls and playing video games. One specified instrumentality that offers those safeguards is the GrandPad, which Consumer Cellular has been a distributor of since 2018.

Dubbed the Android tablet for seniors, the GrandPad is the lone tablet that cannot beryllium purchased outright. It tin lone beryllium obtained done a subscription that costs $40 a month. Instead of being connected to the unfastened net similar different devices, the GrandPad is connected to a backstage web of trusted friends and household chosen to person entree to the device. It’s managed by a household administrator, preferably the idiosyncratic who bought the GrandPad, successful bid to support the elder from spam and different unwanted activity, specified arsenic phishing scams. In different words, it acts arsenic what Evans calls “the walled garden.”

“It’s each protected truthful that the lone mode idiosyncratic tin get a substance connection oregon a telephone telephone oregon an email onto that instrumentality is if that peculiar telephone number, email, oregon substance telephone fig has been added to a harmless list,” helium said. “So they cognize that erstwhile they get a connection connected that instrumentality that it’s a harmless device, it’s not idiosyncratic trying to scam them.”

The Care Smart watch from Verizon offers the aforesaid information net. Released during the aboriginal stages of the COVID-19 pandemic successful April 2020, this smartwatch allows caregivers to adhd up to 10 trusted contacts, including 1 exigency contact, done the Verizon Care Smart App for their aged loved 1 to call. It besides shares the wearer’s determination with caregivers and has a one-touch SOS fastener successful lawsuit the elder has an mishap oregon needs help.

“This instrumentality helps seniors enactment connected and puts household members’ minds astatine ease,” Alex Lawson, communications manager astatine Verizon, said. “Using the Care Smart app, caregivers tin adhd up to 10 trusted contacts, arsenic good arsenic negociate utile things similar medicine reminders and determination alerts. A large, easy-to-read display, elemental navigation, and preset substance replies marque Care Smart a trusted, mundane companion that seniors and caregivers tin trust on.”

Gaming keeps seniors mentally progressive portion connecting with others

Hands clasp  a controller portion    playing a crippled  connected  TV.

Remember what Evans said astir gaming being fashionable among seniors today? Playing video games not lone helps seniors enactment connected with their household and friends, but besides helps support their minds sharp.

A 2019 survey from AARP recovered that 44% of adults older than 50 played video games astatine slightest erstwhile a period — astir 5 hours a week connected mean — compared to 38% successful 2016. And they’re not conscionable playing games connected consoles similar PlayStation and Xbox. About 73% of the seniors surveyed play games connected smartphones and tablets, portion 47% play games connected their PC.

You mightiness representation seniors playing games similar Fortnite oregon Skyrim based connected 85-year-old Shirley Curry, who has garnered astir a cardinal subscribers connected YouTube, earning the nickname Skyrim Grandma. The information is, astir of them thin toward logic and puzzle games that incorporate societal elements, hence the Wordle phenomenon. Studies person besides shown that seniors who play games person much grey matter, which decreases with aging, than those who don’t.

A 2017 study randomly tasked 33 radical betwixt the ages of 55 and 75 to either play Super Mario 64 oregon larn to play the piano  — oregon bash nary neither task — for 30 minutes a time implicit six months. Gregory West, an subordinate prof of science astatine the University of Montreal and co-author of the study, said encephalon MRIs done aft the survey recovered that those who played Super Mario 64 had an summation successful grey substance successful the hippocampus, which affects spatial and episodic memory, and the cerebellum, which deals with centrifugal power and balance.

No substance what benignant of games seniors play, they mostly play them to vie with their friends and family, particularly their children and grandchildren who introduced them to those games successful the archetypal place. And gaming is simply a large mode for those household members to cheque up connected their loved ones and support them progressive during their aureate years.

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