Crucial Reasons Why Seniors Really Need a Smartphone [update 2023]
Can you believe that in 2020, a total number of 1.57 billion smartphones were sold in the world?
Nowadays, smartphones have turned into one of our fundamental needs; safe to say, it is getting almost impossible to get by without them.
The younger generation has embraced technology, but seniors are in greater need since, in old age, we need as much help and assistance as there is.
Several surveys have revealed that smartphones can decrease depression, which is one of the main issues people face in their senior years. By creating a gateway to connect with others, smartphones reduce boredom and depression among seniors. Luckily, there are various smartphones, particularly made for seniors, suited to their needs and conditions.
For example, models designed for seniors have a bigger screen and a basic interface design.
The Common Usages of Smartphone for Seniors
- Calling in emergency conditions
- Video calling with children or grandchildren
- Using the smartphone for controlling various electronic devices at home
- Sending instant messages to family members
- Checking the latest news
- Monitoring health and contacting the clinic
Previously, cellular phones were only for communication purposes, but with the advent of smartphones, communication has turned to only one of the cellular phones’ uses. People are using these devices mainly for entertainment purposes, and the elderly are among the ones who have the highest boredom. A smartphone can act as the best companion for seniors’ loneliness. The elderly may not be able to read books or newspapers due to their lower eyesight. There is an excellent alternative to these media. Podcasts and audiobooks are the best choices, and they can amuse themselves with different podcasts or audiobooks on a wide array of subjects. That can increase their knowledge and creates a sense of connection with the world out there.
Previously, cellular phones were only for communication purposes, but with the advent of smartphones, communication has turned to only one of the cellular phones’ uses. People are using these devices mainly for entertainment purposes, and the elderly are among the ones who experience the highest boredom. Using a smartphone creates a wide array of opportunities for the elderly to socialize, amuse, and obliterate the sense of loneliness.
The video calling feature enables the elderly to visually contact their children or grandchildren living in other cities or countries.
The elderly may not be able to read books or newspapers due to their lower eyesight. There is an excellent alternative to these media. Podcasts and audiobooks are the best choices, and they can amuse themselves with different podcasts or audiobooks on a wide array of subjects. That can increase their knowledge and creates a sense of connection with the world out there.
Still, during the early years of smartphones’ emergence, there was a lack of applications, and there weren’t many choices available. As time passed, imaginative developers started inventing various applications for different purposes. Now, many applications suit the needs of the seniors. One can note medical, entertainment, motivational, and physical exercise apps.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are among the common conditions to which the elderly are predisposed to. There are various ways to hinder delay in the onset of these conditions, and smartphones play a vital role here. Seniors can install multiple games or apps to challenge their brains and improve their memory. These games and applications are designed to reduce the aging process’s speed and help the seniors keep their minds as fresh as in their younger years.
Additionally, increasing the mental power of the elderly is one of the main benefits of smartphones. There are various accessible apps through Google Play Store or iTunes App Store designed to help the elderly enhance their cognitive performance. Most of these apps allow the elderly to interact with their mobile phone to maintain their cognitive abilities.
More Resources: Smart Home Technologies that Help Seniors
Thanks to virtual assistants, smartphones are smarter than before. These virtual assistants can help you dial numbers without even picking up your phone, and they are also able to answer your various questions. The elderly might not be able to type accurately on their phone, which is an obstacle to surfing the web or calling others. In addition, Virtual assistants are here to help them make use of all features of their phones. iPhone users can take advantage of Siri and android phones’ which are released with different virtual assistants that help the elderly perform various tasks.
Of course, forgetfulness is another problem of old age. The elderly might forget the places where they have put different things. Thanks to small chipsets, you can attach the chipset to the regularly missed items and then track them with the phone app.
What are the side effects?
Along with many benefits, smartphones can lead to several side effects. There might be some problems in the way the elderly are using smartphones. Some seniors have problems learning new skills. These people cannot learn to use the phone during old age. They might face several issues while using the smartphone or create troubles for others. It’s best if they skip using smartphones and stick with the basics.
The existence of unlimited features on smartphones may overwhelm seniors. If the number of apps on the mobile phone becomes too many and confusing, they should be limited so that the elderly can use the fundamental features of their phones.
What to buy?
Mobile phones are among the costly items to purchase. It means that they are only worth buying if seniors are willing to use their various features. Otherwise, the elderly can get a simple phone to sort out their ordinary tasks. There are some extra costs for mobile phones. Connecting to the Internet, using video calling features, messaging, and calls can cost a lot if using a basic phone plan.
What are the costs?
Since mobile phones’ price has tremendously increased during the last few years, they have also become susceptible to theft. The potential of being rubbed by the elderly is higher due to the lack of control over their phones. As noted earlier, buying a smartphone is only one of the costs the owner has to pay. Nowadays, most applications come with in-app purchasing. It means that the user has to pay money to make use of various features of the app.
More Resources: Taking Care of the Seniors Using Technology
Smartphones are becoming increasingly essential for seniors as they provide a range of benefits, such as staying connected with loved ones, emergency communication, access to information, entertainment, and health monitoring. With the advancement of technology and the increasing availability of user-friendly smartphones, seniors can quickly adapt to these devices and enjoy their benefits. Seniors need to consider the advantages of having a smartphone and make a decision that can significantly enhance their quality of life. A simple smartphone can be handy for seniors. Mainly because it helps them stay connected with their loved ones by video chatting, controlling smart devices, using GPS to navigate, monitoring health through apps, and many other features that can improve the quality of their lives.
My cousin got a Galaxy for our grandfather’s birthday three years ago. He was so happy. At first, he used to video call us all the time. it was so cute :))) now he’s on Instagram, posting photos of his dog and his garden, and whatever he finds interesting. I guess it’s safe to say that smartphones make older adults more confident.
I think once we seniors stop being intimidated by new technologies, we can put them to great use. I did not like to use smartphones until I was 60 because I was concerned about the privacy issues and the way they constantly collect my data. But I have to say despite allowing more ways of ruining security and privacy for a user, they are quite beneficial. I use my phone so often that I do not even know how I am supposed to live without it one day.
My father is around 80, and since smartphones have emerged in the market, he had one! He has more enthusiastic about technology than I!. he surfs the net and explores youtube videos to find special exercises that aim at pain relief (he suffers from arthritis). some times I hear his voice talking Google Voice Assistant since he is reluctant to type words :))
he is awesome. I admire his compatibility with technology and smartphones 🙂
Hello, dear users and writers, between Nintendo and Xbox, which one is better? As an active elderly, I crazy about playing with consoles such as PS4 and so on. so these days, I like to try other video gaming consoles. so please guide this energetic senior. 🙂
I suggest Nintendo because it is focused on games that you have to move. You can have a super fun time with your family and grandchildren.
I wish my grandparents were more flexible. They are somehow afraid of changes. They just stick to their comfort zones and don’t even bother to try new things. Therefore, I could not convince them to use smartphones, and I’m worried about them. Do you have any suggestions?
While I understand, I think it’s better not to force them to use smartphones. If they’re comfortable with their comfort zone, then let them be.
I’m pretty attached to my smartphone, to be honest. I am free to have a Samsung because people in my age category feel very little peer pressure to whip out the latest iPhone.
I am not going to get any younger, and I cannot imagine not having a smartphone in my future.
Older adults should all have smartphones, in my opinion.
In fact, they should get them free as a part of Medicare. Nothing is more useful than a mobile phone with 911 that they can use to summon help if they fall down…
Sometimes it’s difficult for the elderly to use smartphones because they’re not technology friendly, but some android devices are easy to use. A smartphone can allow your parent or grandparent to take pictures of friends and family and keep treasured moments at their fingertips. Also, smartphones allow your loved ones to play mentally engaging games whenever and wherever they wish.
I share the same idea with you, Tracey. I am 72 years old, and I use smartphones as a great communication tool. I can use my smartphone in different ways to connect with my friends and loved ones like voice calls, text messages, emails, video calls, etc. When distances and time challenge us, older adults can effortlessly connect with their friends, children and grandchildren to get family updates. Also, I can easily access my favourite music on my smartphone. People like me may not be technology-friendly, but we can benefit from it.
I guess I won’t ever forget the moment my grandma could use her tablet to have a video chat with my aunt in Norway. With round eyes and opened-mouthed, she turned to me and said,” now I can talk and see my daughter at the same time?”. It was amazing. Now that tablet is one of the necessities of her life that she only puts aside at meals. She spends lots of time with video chats and playing games, seldom thinking about being alone.
My grandmother has been using cell phones over the past 10 years. She’s always been scared of trying out a smartphone because “they offer too many tech things for someone as old as” her, she used to say. However, the tediousness of writing messages using older phones that don’t have a touchscreen caused her to finally give in and buy herself a Sony Xperia smartphone. At first, she felt overwhelmed by the things the phone could do, but she started getting used to its features after a few months. My grandma now has her own Instagram page and WhatsApp account. She’s also learned to send messages through social apps without any problem.
I bought an iPhone for my mother solely because of its virtual assistant, Siri. When she texts or gets weather information by using it, the joy on her face is priceless.