Did you know technology, while convenient to most, can inadvertently evoke discomfort, especially among older adults? This is what our team at Repocket looks into in our latest article.

Temper down the digital exuberance when your grandparents are around

Does the appearance of your grandparents in your chic, tech-enhanced living room make your heart buck with a strange mix of affection and anxiety? Embrace it. It’s perfectly normal to feel the need to temper down the digital exuberance. According to a CHC Online study, technology and social media have intensified our anxiety, especially among seniors.

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Repocket‘s software engineer, Jason Adler, advises, “While these devices carry the power to enrich our lives greatly, their utility must be carefully balanced against their complexity, especially when dealing with seniors.”

So, our experts at Repocket made a list of the seven gadgets that can harm senior citizens to ensure a safer household for families with older adults.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) Headsets

Though VR can make experiences more immersive, it can confuse or disorient older adults. They might feel ill or experience physical discomfort using VR sets. Balance concerns linked to VR usage are documented, including a National Library of Medicine study.

Expert Advice: Jason Adler, a Software Engineer at Repocket, suggests, “If you must use VR with older folks around, ensure they are seated to minimize balance issues.”

  1. Drone Controllers

The spirit of flying a drone might appeal to older generations, but the complexities of drone controllers could frustrate them. An uncontrolled drone can be dangerous, too. The FAA’s stats show increased drone-related accidents.


Expert Advice: Adler notes, “Restrict drone use to outdoors, possibly in a park, where grandparents can spectate safely from a distance.”

  1. Wearable Fitness Trackers

These gadgets can inadvertently highlight health conditions that your grandparents are uncomfortable discussing. According to a report from We R Sports, wearing fitness trackers can also develop into an obsession with losing weight, thus developing into an eating disorder.

Expert Advice: “Give them the choice to engage with the devices or not,” Adler recommends.

  1. Smart Speakers

While a definite convenience, smart speakers could frustrate seniors if they fail to understand vocal commands. Based on Senior Element’s report, Smart Speakers can misinterpret voice commands or provide inaccurate information, which can cause frustration or stress to senior citizens.

Expert Advice: “Make sure to guide them on using the speakers or use them discreetly yourself,” counsels Adler.

  1. Autonomous Vacuum Cleaners

Robot vacuum cleaners might trip seniors up or become an unseen object to stumble upon. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that falls are a leading cause of injury for seniors.

Expert Advice: “Stick to simple, automated tech,” Adler says. “If robots are cleaning, ensure the floor area is cordoned off.”

  1. High-end Gaming Consoles

Active video games demand a high level of motor skills, which older adults might find challenging. A report from CareForth suggested that video games can cause aggression and anxiety in senior citizens.

Expert Advice: “Keep the gaming time out of grandparents’ visit time,” Adler instructs.

  1. Smart Home Technologies (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.)

Voice-activated smart homes might bewilder seniors, making them uncomfortable. Recent research from Ideaing shows hesitancy with smart devices among seniors.

Expert Advice: “Preferably manage the smart home scenes yourself or keep a normal remote handy,” suggests Adler.

Expert Advice: Alleviating Loneliness Without Gadgets

Older people often grapple with loneliness, exacerbated when complex technology causes a communication gap. So how can the digital generation help their less tech-savvy grandparents without using complicated gadgets?

Jason Adler proposes a few simple yet effective strategies:

  • “Plan Regular Visits”: Nothing replaces face-to-face interaction for emotional connectivity.
  • “Engage in Storytelling”: Encourage them to share their life experiences, creating a sense of belonging in their younger generations.
  • “Involve them in Outdoor Activities”: A simple walk in the park or the beach can go a long way in combating loneliness.
  • “Teach them Basic Technology”: Introducing them to user-friendly gadgets can bridge the technology gap, instilling a feeling of empowerment and inclusion.
  • “Initiate Group Activities”: Engage them in community activities or social gatherings, promoting a sense of belonging.

Adler speaks of a delicate balance in integrating technology into seniors’ lives: “It’s essential to keep the human element at the center. Technology should be a tool to enhance human connection, not a hurdle that distances us from our elderly loved ones.”

The generation gap might get more prominent as technology advances if we don’t deal with it well. Instead of focusing only on fancy technology, it’s essential to prioritize connecting with older people. Changing how we use technology can make them feel more comfortable while still enjoying spending time with our grandparents.

Credit: https://repocket.co/ 

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