We are living longer because of advances in medicine. So what does that mean for our mature adult population? Technology isn’t just for the young. Technology is for all the generations and maybe even more so our growing mature population.
Mature adults (aka seniors) need technology to support their way of living that they are familiar with. The technology we suggest for the young can be just as independent for the mature adults. Using enlarged text, text to speech, executive function tools like planners, timers and reminders. These are all tools that support an individual’s ability to stay as independent as possible in their own home environments.
Recently, my mature adult had an accident. She wasn’t able to write independently because the dominant arm was broken. So to strength her non-dominate hand we started with coloring books and dot to dot books. This allowed her to have success as making strokes and figuring out the best way to hold the pen in the non-dominate hand.
Mature adults need assistance adult proofing their homes. This is not meant to be degrading, but it is like baby proofing the home for adults. It is important to make sure that there aren’t things to trip over. Make sure that the environment is easy to navigate (decrease clutter), check that sharp corners are decreased (bumps, bruises, and cuts can be risky). We need to be mindful of dignity to our mature adults. Making the environment safe isn’t about taking opportunities. We just need to think of ways to help with safety.
We need to think of each environment as safe, keeps dignity and increased opportunities. When my mature adult broke her arm, there were things you don’t think about it until it smacks you in the face. How was she going to cut her food, how was she going to pour the milk for her tea, how was she going to cut up fruits or open a jar. These are things we take for granted. We know things exist, but they aren’t always in our homes. For my mature adult, I borrowed a cutting board with prongs that held any food she wanted to cut. I borrowed different spoons so she could eat soups until we found the one that worked for her. We found this fantastic milk pump that she could leave the milk in the refrigerator and put two pumps in her cup.
Look all around you and see all the things that our mature adults could benefit from that we are using with the younger population. It is a perfect opportunity for the young digital natives to help the digital immigrants.