National Assisted Living Week®, which will be held from September 11th – September 17th this year, will provide an opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff members, volunteers and others to recognize the important role of assisted living as it relates to senior citizens and people with disabilities. Established by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995, this annual celebration encourages assisted living communities to offer activities and programs for residents and to educate the general public about long-term care.
NCAL has announced that this year’s theme is “Keep Connected.” Its purpose is to raise awareness of the advantages of using technology to engage with the world and enhance assisted living care. According to a Pew Research survey, 2012 marked the first year that more than half of senior citizens were using the Internet.
Here are a few suggestions on how seniors can incorporate technology into everyday life, in honor of National Assisted Living Week®:
Find Fun on Computers or Tablets. Computers and tablets are not just for the young. With a little guidance, anyone can easily learn to play a fun game, do a crossword puzzle, watch a movie or read a book on a computer or tablet. You can also access health news, educational information, photos, music and other entertainment. For the visually or hearing impaired, there are features to increase the font size for text and raise the volume of the audio to make the experience more enjoyable.
Get Connected with Loved Ones. Using technology is a great way to strengthen and maintain bonds with grandchildren or other relatives who do not live close by. A free service called Skype allows you to do a video call with another person or group of people. The online application is fun and convenient to use. Before using Skype, however, the application needs to be downloaded onto a computer or tablet and an account must be set up. Free video calls can be made to anyone who has a Skype account.
Learn About Your Family Tree. Some folks may find interest in accessing an online ancestry website to learn more about their ancestors. You may even enjoy searching different historical stories and articles online. You can share your favorite finds or family history with children or grandchildren by email, and then discuss it during your next visit or Skype session!
Exercise with Video Games. Incorporating exercise through technology can be done in a variety of different ways. One method is through video game systems that offer an opportunity for seniors to engage in light physical activity, such as Nintendo Wii Bowling.
With some help from a friend or a tech-savvy grandchild, technology can open up new and exciting possibilities for seniors. Find out what’s right for you during National Assisted Living Week®!