Mobile technology not just for the young

While 77 percent of Americans 65 or over own a cellphone, only 18 percent own a smartphone, according to Pew Research.

However, with the development of larger phones and abundant features, there’s an opportunity for seniors to take a serious look at smartphone technology and the positive effect it may have on their lives – and their health.

“We frequently hear from people who think mobile technology is a young person’s game,” said Jeff Heeley, Director of Sales for U.S. Cellular’s Northwest Territory.

“However, wireless devices are suitable for all generations, and U.S. Cellular has found that mobile technology can help seniors in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to health.”

According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey, 34 percent of smartphone owners have used their devices to manage health.

There are a variety of apps for seniors and caregivers to use both in daily care and emergency situations. U.S. Cellular provides tips and tools to help seniors and caretakers use their mobile devices to make their lives easier, more efficient and more meaningful, whether at home or on-the-go.

• Elder 411 and Elder 911: Both of these free apps available in the Apple App and Google Play stores are focused on seniors.

Elder 911 can help caregivers walk through an emergency situation. The screen asks for your relation to the senior and stage of crisis. From there, different checklists, steps and pertinent information is available.

Elder 411 contains general caregiving information and tips on communication, financial matters and safety.

• Family Protector: Families can have greater peace of mind with U.S. Cellular’s Family Protector service, which can notify family members immediately in an emergency.

By downloading an app on the senior’s device, the user easily can send alerts with the press of a button in case of illness, accident or injury.

• iPharmacy Pro: This free Apple app is a comprehensive guide to prescription medication.

It includes vital information about a particular drug, including the purpose, side effects and interactions. It also offers Food and Drug Administration information and allows users to search for clinical journal articles about certain medications.

• Pillbox: It can be difficult to keep up with the schedule of when each pill must be taken.

Pillbox, a free app available on Apple and Android devices, keeps track of medication lists and reminds users when a particular drug should be taken.

• CareZone: This free app allows Apple and Android users to create a “care” profile to record all information about a loved one who is receiving care and invite friends and family members to become “helpers.”

The shareable task list keeps everyone updated on the status of needed items, and a journal allows the group to log observations and upload photos.

Medication tracking keeps a handy list of all medications, dosages, purpose, doctor information, pharmacy and more.

• Vehicle Monitoring: As we age, driving becomes a source of concern for seniors, family members and friends.

Vehicle Monitoring is a great option to ensure safety and peace of mind. The easy-to-install module lets users troubleshoot and monitor vehicles from a wireless device or computer.

From checking a vehicle’s location on a map to deciphering engine codes from your couch, you have the power to keep a close eye on vehicles from afar.

• Find my Phone: When you are unable to reach a senior, it causes concern and stress.

With the Find my Phone app for Android or the Find my iPhone app for Apple products, caregivers can locate where a senior’s phone may be at any given time. The app communicates the location based on the GPS navigational technology on the device.


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