Get ready. I’m about to bust down a long-standing myth. And you know how I love to buck conventional wisdom.
You may have even bought into this myth yourself. And if so, I don’t blame you. It’s a persistent one.
There’s a fairytale out there that casts baby boomers as behind the times and afraid of change. And frankly, it’s pure hogwash!
If you’re a Boomer you’ve lived through some of the most exciting and tumultuous times in U.S. history.
You’ve navigated your way through the McCarthy hearings, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the struggle for Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, the first moon landing and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and President John F. Kennedy.
In other words, change and adaptability are encoded in your DNA.
And while it’s true that seniors weren’t born with smartphones in their hands, they’ve lived through the digital revolution. And far from refusing to embrace it, experts say at least half of baby boomers are using at least one digital device such as a tablet, smartphone or computer.
Health gadgets that can improve your life
But with all the health gadgets and apps out there, it CAN be overwhelming figuring out the worthy from the worthless. And let’s face it, there’s a heck of a lot of the worthless out there.
For example, a friend sent me a link the other day to a website selling inflatable saddlebags for seniors. They’re supposed to cushion your hips in a fall. I applaud the designer’s creativity. But honestly, I wouldn’t be caught dead walking around with those things strapped to my sides.
But there are worthy gadgets and apps out there, too. Tech that can help keep you independent and healthy for years to come.
Following are four must have health gadgets that any senior will love.
1. Medication monitors:
If you’re like most seniors, you have more than a few pills to take every day. Between the supplements we like to take, and the medications we have to, it can sometimes seem like we’re managing a pharmacy from our kitchen table. So it’s really no wonder that it can become a coordination nightmare.
Remembering to take all your pills in a day packed with tons of other things you have to remember means missing doses. And then when you do remember to take them it’s easy to forget that you did.
Medication monitors are the perfect solution. These apps you download onto your smartphone are like having a personal assistant who’s in charge of your pills.
Once you add your information to the app, it will remind you when it’s time to take a pill so you never accidently miss a dose again. Then when you check off having taken it, you’ll never be in danger of double dosing or missing a dose again.
Best of all? There are some easy, FREE, and highly rated apps available to download from the iPhone App Store or Google Play store on your cellphone.
If you’re looking for an even higher tech solution, there are electronic pills boxes that will flash and light up when it’s time to take a pill. Some you can even program to notify a spouse or friend if you miss a dose.
2. Alert jewelry:
Remember those commercials with the woman who had fallen and couldn’t get up? Health gadgets have come a LONG way since then. Wearable alert jewelry has replaced those clunky units which forced you to yell across the room in an emergency. And now they go with you wherever you go.
These days, you can choose from fashionable necklaces, bracelets, or clip-ons for a pocket or lapel. If you fall or feel faint, help is just a push of the button away, whether you’re at home or on the go. Most include sensors that can detect a fall so if you’re unable to push the button they will make the call for you.
3. Video calling:
Video calling is technology straight out of the movies and television shows we watched as kids. It allows friends and family to connect with us in a way we could only imagine 20 years ago.
Video chats give us a social outlet whenever we feel isolated and lonely. It’s the next best thing to having a loved one there in person. Plus, it’s a great way to reassure your kids that mom and dad really ARE okay. Phone calls are great, but nothing beats being able to share a laugh face-to-face.
Options include Skype on your home computer or smartphone, Facetime on your iPhone, and a variety of other apps available in your phone’s app store.
4. Activity trackers:
Your heart, your brain, your mood, every aspect of your health relies on unseating your seat and staying active. But let’s face it; it can be hard to get motivated to move. And when you do, it’s tough to keep track of how much you’ve done.
That’s where activity trackers come in. These ingenious little devices are the higher tech cousin of those old fashioned pedometers you may remember. They come in a variety of styles including bracelets, watches and clip-ons.
They keep track of all your steps for you, which is a great way to make sure you’re moving enough throughout the day. But that’s not all these devices do. They’re designed to motivate you to want to move. They turn walking into a game that’s actually fun, instead of a chore. They give you daily and weekly goals and they have built in levels and “awards” to win. Some of them can even connect you with friends and family to turn exercise into a friendly competition.
Options include Fitbit, Apple Smart Watch, and various apps you can download onto your smartphone.
If baby boomers are anything, it’s adaptable. Boomers have lived through countless changes that would have left any so-called “tech savvy” millennials feeling downright woozy.
The generation which remembers life before the internet, but is now reading THIS on a computer. And the one which watched televisions go from a rare luxury to streaming shows on a device that fits into a pocket.
So why not go ahead and embrace these new health gadgets too? They’ll improve your life, and maybe you’ll end up teaching your grandkids a thing or two while you’re at it.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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