The novel coronavirus outbreak is still roaring globally, and the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control advise the public to stay indoors. The security heightens with the older age groups, as they are proven to be susceptible to getting infected with the new virus.
Aside from home quarantine, the government recommends families to practice social distancing to stop COVID-19 from spreading, which is the right thing to do. Yet, social distancing means being unable to see friends outside your homes for a while, creating a sense of isolation to seniors. Take note that social isolation produces a myriad of adverse health impacts on elderly care.
It’s a good thing that technology and the internet exist today. These advancements keep people connected despite the distance barrier. Aside from connection, the internet provides plenty of resources that seniors can use as an alternative to physical contact. Oasis Adult Day Center lists all the benefits of using technology in the current pandemic outbreak.
Benefits of Technology to Seniors in the Pandemic Outbreak
1. It helps seniors stay connected with their friends.
Technology provides ways for seniors to communicate with their friends online. Seniors only need a smartphone or computer and a reliable internet connection to start interacting with their relatives, friends, or loved ones through social networking sites.
In case they don’t know how to use one, this is the best time to teach them. As a family member, make sure to educate your senior loved ones about the online world. Be mindful that this activity also serves as a social bonding between you and your aging parents.
Keeping in touch with the elderly during the isolation period plays a crucial role in improving both their mental and social health.
2. It gives many resources for staying active.
Aside from communication, technology keeps seniors active through online workouts. With most of the senior centers and gyms closed down, seniors can turn to online resources to look for alternative ways to keep their bodies moving and healthy.
Subscribing on a YouTube channel that focuses on elderly care workouts delivers benefits to seniors. For instance, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) offer fitness videos in their YouTube channels, which are all centered on embracing senior’s health.
3. It raises awareness of the world’s situation.
Beside watching news television channels, reading news articles online is an alternative way to educate oneself about the world’s current situation. As a family member, it’s important to educate aging parents with reliable sources of information. For example, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and New York State Department of Health are useful websites seniors can turn to with regards to the novel coronavirus information.
Social networking sites provide an excellent platform to share information online. But ensure to educate seniors and help them realize the difference between a fact and deceiving news.
4. It presents helpful websites for shopping for food supplies.
Now that families are being sent home, shopping for food supplies isn’t an easy task. And it’s even riskier for solo aging adults to go to physical stores to shop for their necessities. Fortunately, the food industries and pharmacies made their services available online. Seniors only need to install and launch the application, look for food supplies, and order them online.
With this method, seniors (especially those who live alone) reduces their contact with other people, who can be carriers of the novel coronavirus. Examples of these food industries include Amazon Fresh, Peapod, and Instacart services.
5. It tracks scheduled meals and prescribed medicines for the day.
Advancements in technology help seniors stay healthy through medication tracker systems. It’s never easy for family members to ensure their senior loved ones take their medicines at the right time, given that members have other things to do in the household. Medication tracker systems simplify the process by creating smartphone notifications regarding the current day and time, along with the medicine that an aging parent needs to take.
6. It alleviates stress through online games.
The internet has lots to offer, from resources to recreational games. You can ease senior’s boredom by knowing their favorite past time and determine if the internet provides it.
Online games and activities benefit seniors’ mental and social well-being. For example, puzzles, board games, and word games help seniors stay mentally fit, as these games improve brain function. Further, creating a match between your aging parent or a family member within an online game is a great way to increase social engagement skills and bonding time simultaneously.
7. It increases comprehension by joining online discussion groups.
With the range of activities found online, seniors can participate in discussion groups (like in Facebook threads, article posts, or even in comment sections). Several websites cater to senior discussion groups, which is effective in engaging seniors to diverse topics online.
Seniors can meet lots of people within the same age group from all over the world. For example, older adults who love to read books can join discussions dedicated to their interests (such as online book clubs).
In addition to online discussion groups, seniors can use technology to watch live concerts. In this way, they don’t have to step outside their homes. They can view and listen to their favorite singers or bands conveniently.
The novel coronavirus is still in full swing today. Therefore, make sure to keep in touch with news online and follow our health institutions in preventing the virus from spreading further. While technology usage can sometimes present challenges, it provides a platform for the elderly to keep themselves busy despite the crisis. Seniors can benefit from technology and the internet in terms of staying connected and healthy amid the pandemic outbreak, as the online world offers information, support groups, and treatment to ensure the public’s safety.