Elderly-friendly technology: could senior citizens benefit from latest tech advancements?

In a world dominated by an ageing population, shifting attitudes have resulted in the generation of more elderly-friendly products and services targeted at the older generation. Whilst this has primarily focused on public services and household appliances, a recent announcement from tech giant Fujitsu has suggested a new direction for this activity – with the latest technology being brought to those more mature in age.

According to the report, Fujitsu has created a senior-friendly smartphone which is now scheduled to go on sale in France; the first instance when the company will sell phones outside of its home country. Should the device prove popular in France, the possibility of extending its availability to other European communities and even the American market cannot be denied. 

The decision to release the device in France stems from a growing demand for technology aimed at the older generation witnessed in the country which seems to be one step ahead when it comes to bringing the latest conveniences to all age demographics.

Smartphones for senior citizens

The phone itself, named the Raku-Raku, contains many of the same features as a standard smartphone but with a simplified interface which is hoped to be easier to use for those in their later years. Icons are larger, making them easy to read, and scrolling only occurs via a vertical pattern to make keystrokes easier to manage.

This works in tandem with the companies new touch screen technology which makes the controls easier to grasp for those unfamiliar with this technology; making it ideal for both the elderly and those purchasing their first smartphone.

Games consoles for geriatrics

Mobile phones aren’t the only device to get a grey makeover – games consoles and other gadgets can also be suitable for those in their later years. Modern consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, for example, have been heralded as a great way for elderly individuals to stay in shape thanks to games such as Wii Sport.

The interface is easy to operate and with simple controls and motion detection technology, players do not need to worry about learning lengthy button combinations. Nintendo pride themselves on targeting every age demographic with these consoles and the ability to exercise at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home is a real benefit – especially as you are more susceptible to mobility problems in your older age.

Communication for community elders

Another common example of technology for the elderly comes in the form of modern communication services. Surpassing traditional mail options, online communication has been a real step forward for all individuals and those more mature in life haven’t been left behind.

Whether it is emails from leading host services such as Hotmail or online video calling through services such as Skype, there are plenty of opportunities for our community elders to log on and get connected.

All of these systems boast easy to use interfaces with helpful guides designed to teach you how to get the most out of the service. This can really benefit elderly individual who are unable to see their family as often as they’d like and even social networks such as Facebook have started to see older individuals sign up for a free account to communicate with friends and relatives.

This post has been written by Tracy Smist, a professional London Nurse

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