Technology for seniors to keep active and healthy is increasing in popularity. This includes websites, apps, and biometric gadgets. With wearable fitness devices that count steps, monitor heart rate and blood pressure, and even analyze the quality of your sleep, it can be easier than ever to use technology and apps to improve one’s health. Many seniors may enjoy a wearable device. They can provide a snapshot of their daily health benefit from using these free apps and websites. All of this is intended to improve physical and mental health. Whether living in an assisted living community or at home, here are some websites and apps for healthy aging.
Technology for Seniors – Trends in Health and Wellness
Mental health may be a topic that some seniors 65 and older aren’t comfortable talking about. However, research increasingly shows a strong connection between mental well-being, physical health, and longevity.
Seniors can take more control over their health and wellness with technology. For example, they can make a curated fitness video list with activities they enjoy. Also, they can make it easier to remember to take medication, drink water, and check their blood sugar.
Technology for seniors also helps give peace of mind to family members who may be far away. This allows families to monitor their loved one’s health metrics. Or, knowing that their loved one’s wearable device has an emergency alarm if something happens. Therefore, heart attack symptoms, a stroke, or a fall can be monitored and alerted.
Physical fitness is important as people age. Gentle classes like yoga and tai chi can help with balance. This can prevent falls. Strength training, especially for women, maintains bone density. This can can reduce the chances of osteoporosis. Cardiovascular fitness is important, too. It helps seniors reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke. Plus, regular exercise, at least 150 minutes per week, has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, This can be common among seniors who are empty nesters or have lost a partner.
Therefore, we’re reviewing popular fitness applications for seniors to help improve the health of their minds and body.
Silver Sneakers – Yoga and Exercises Technology for Seniors
Silver Sneakers is a fitness program with classes at gyms nationwide. This includes many popular chains and YMCA facilities. The program offers online and in-person classes. They are specially curated to provide challenging yet fun exercises for seniors of all fitness levels, This includes chair options.
If they are living in a senior living community, seniors can access classes online. Or, through the app on their smartphone. Also, they can attend classes at a local gym. Adults with certain Supplemental Medicare plans may be able to take classes virtually and in person for free as part of their coverage. And, for seniors who meet income qualifications, the YMCA offers reduced or free monthly membership plans.
Some classes may require equipment. This can include light hand weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, straps, and blocks. If your assisted living facility has a fitness center, you may be able to use some of its equipment to complete your favorite workouts. Finally, Silver Sneakers also offers meditation and brain training modules.
BOLD – Personalized Fitness for Seniors
Bold is a free fitness app with a personalized training program to help seniors stay motivated to reach certain goals. The focus is on exercise and nutrition. The app features virtual workouts and tracking options for users to log workouts. Alternatively, they can have their wearable smartwatch track their activity. It integrates with both smartphones and Apple Watches.
Bold also includes nutrition planning and a module to allow seniors to track their meals and water. People with medical conditions requiring certain diet plans can benefit from this feature.
Medication Monitoring apps – Health Regulation for Seniors
Although assisted living facilities offer medication monitoring and dispensing services, there are also free apps that your aging loved one may use to take their medication:
- Pill Monitor (free for iOS)
- MedWatch (free for iOS)
- Medisafe Meds & Pill Monitor
- GBP (iOS and Android): This comprehensive app makes documenting and monitoring blood pressure easy
Fitbit – Physical Technology for Seniors
Medicare Advantage members can receive one free Fitbit every two years. This is a wearable health-tracking band that monitors the wearer’s heart rate and activity. It includes the number of steps taken each day. It pairs with a smartphone app that allows users to log their daily food and water intake. This can help some seniors remember to drink water. Also, it has a meditation feature and modules to track certain exercises the wearer enjoys.
Family Fitbit plans allow everyone on the plan to see each other’s stats, so if a family member doesn’t live with their senior, they can still ensure that their loved one is eating properly, getting enough water, and exercising.
Headspace – Meditation Technology for Seniors
Meditation, balanced mental health, and stress reduction can reduce the chances of developing dementia or experiencing cognitive decline. Regular meditation helps people feel calmer and lessens perceived stress. This, in turn, can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, meditation increases cortical thickness and the grey matter in the brain, slowing its aging and preserving mental acuity.
Headspace makes it easier for seniors to learn how to meditate and actively reduce stressful feelings. It is a meditation app with a free trial and $12.99/ month or $69.99/ year.
Headspace offers guided lessons on how to meditate for those unfamiliar with the practice and sleep meditation programs that can help seniors who have difficulty falling asleep to relax and get more restful sleep. Better sleep hygiene can help lower dementia risk and make seniors feel energized and less anxious during the day.
UCLA Mindful – Beginner Meditation Technology for Seniors
UCLA Mindful is a free app, compatible with Android and iOS, designed by UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center. It offers basic meditations for first-timers, including helpful videos on how to meditate, with tips like learning the right posture and understanding the science behind meditation. And, it features a simple timer so users can practice on their own, and guided wellness meditations to address different areas of concern, like stress, finding joy and being mindful, or getting more restful sleep.
Technology for Seniors – Conclusion
Helping your seniors set up their favorite fitness apps and customize their profiles on websites like Silver Sneakers and Fitbit can be a good bonding opportunity for you. And, if you or they are concerned about privacy issues, you can demonstrate the settings for each app to protect your senior.
Nearly all assisted living facilities offer internet access for residents, and many have community-use spaces or fitness centers that your seniors can use to complete their online workouts. Assisted Living Locators senior care advisors can help you find communities with reliable internet access and space for your senior to do online meditation or workouts. Contact us today to learn how this free service can help you and your family.