Are you peering into the world of modern technology and wondering if there’s anything that would benefit you as a senior? Here’s some good news: there are virtual assistants out there designed solely to make your life easier, safer, and more fulfilling. At St. Mark Village, we want you to have access to all available resources for an enhanced life, so we’ve put together a few tech tips for seniors you may find useful.
We promise to keep it simple, so you can quickly take advantage of what’s out there—without having to rely on your grandchildren!
Tech tips for seniors: you may know more than you think
The word “technology” can be enough to create anxiety for some. But if you stop for a moment and consider your daily life, you most likely are already a heavy user of technology. Smartphones, laptop computers, GPS maps and directions, digital watches, and reading a book on an electronic tablet are all examples that might already be a part of your daily life.
Tech is all around, adding convenience, knowledge, safety and entertainment to our lives. The key with tech tips for seniors is to keep it simple. Start slow with a few options and go from there.
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The Amazon Echo, with its assistive personality known as “Alexa,” is a very helpful device for all ages, particularly those seniors living alone. Using the smart, hands-free Echo speaker, Alexa can serve as a personal assistant, responding to questions and requests, as well as much more.
Alexa excels in device compatibility, smart home integration, and third-party app support. Because Alexa is directly linked to Amazon’s vast online store, users can easily search for products, check prices, and even place orders using voice commands. If you are a frequent online shopper, Alexa could be a great choice for you. However, you cannot use Alexa to send texts or emails.
The decision of which voice assistant is better really depends on your personal preferences, priorities, and the devices you already own.
Here is a quick look at just some of the ways Alexa can help you:
- Set up reminders
You can ask Alexa to remind you to take some medication, what time the grandchildren are visiting, the date of your next physician’s appointment, or even when to take the roast out of the freezer so it can defrost.
- Get answers to questions
How many pints in a quart? What’s on television this evening? What foods are a good source of Vitamin D? What is today’s date? How is the stock market doing? Who wrote “Mack The Knife”? Can you play some soothing sounds to help me sleep?
With Alexa, you can ask away… chances are, you will get the information you need.
- Hear weather, traffic & news updates
Want to know the forecast? Or who won last night’s game? Alexa can quickly update you on news, traffic, and weather.
- Enjoy entertainment
You can listen to an audiobook while you work on a puzzle. Hear a podcast. Ask to hear a specific type of music, such as something you could dance to, a child’s song when the grandkids are visiting, or an aria from your favorite opera. You can even say, “Alexa, tell me a joke.” And it can be a specific request (A Star Wars joke, a Shakespeare joke, and so on.)
- Make Lists
When thinking about tech tips for seniors, making things easier is at the top of the list. Take lists, for example. With Alexa, you can make all kinds of lists that you won’t lose, like what to give each grandchild for their birthday, upcoming events you will be attending, or things you want to take with you on your next trip. Alexa can store it all for you.
Siri is exclusive to Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV. As long as you are connected to the internet, either through Wi-Fi or your cellular plan, you can do all kinds of things with Siri, from set reminders, to send messages, to schedule meetings, to get directions and more.
You can even do it all on the go away from home since Siri is part of your iPhone. Use Siri to place calls, send texts, or send emails.
Siri offers a stronger focus on privacy than Alexa, as it is trained on individual voices which helps prevent disclosing personal data to the wrong person. Siri also supports more languages. As for shopping online, Siri is not tied to an e-commerce platform in the same way that Alexa is, so you must use a third-party app or search the internet.
Best of all the tech tips for seniors: technology really can make life easier!
Technology that works for you is just one aspect of a happy retirement. At St. Mark Village, we believe that It’s good to be excited about what lies ahead, learning new things, trying new experiences, reimagining what is possible.
We’d love to tell you more about our easygoing way of life, where you enjoy all the perks of carefree senior living, with the peace of mind of seamless access to future care options.