Smart Phone Apps: Proactive Care for Seniors
By: Guest Blogger - Michelle Groves
May is National Older Americans Month, and while the nation celebrates the contributions of its seniors, the Administration on Aging is taking a look at the many ways technology is helping older Americans live longer, healthier and more engaged lives. Technology is ever-changing, and today’s seniors are quickly learning how the latest innovations, particularly in cell phones, can help stay them connected with family, friends and the information that is important to them.
With the many activities young people are involved in, it can sometimes be a challenge for grandparents to stay in touch with their children and grandchildren. To make it easier, many seniors are taking advantage of text messaging, the preferred way of communicating among young people. According to ComScore, Inc., 42 percent of adults 50 and older now send one text message a day, underscoring the fact that the older generation is becoming more acclimated to this evolving technology.
Beyond text messaging and voice calls, cell phones can also access social media sites like Facebook, providing older Americans with an easy way to reconnect with friends, post and view pictures of grandchildren and take advantage of the all the other benefits of social networking sites. While many may think that young people are driving the social media trend, many older Americans are also using Facebook and Twitter. According to Pew Research and American Life Project, half of Internet users age 50 – 64 and a quarter of users 65 and older now regularly use social media sites.
In addition to positively impacting seniors’ social engagement, cell phones are also useful for managing some health issues. If a senior is using a smartphone, they can download an application that gives them a reminder to take the right medication at the right time. The HealthAssist application on Blackberry® phones, and the Med Minder application on Android™-powered devices are easy to download and set-up medication schedules. Dozens of other applications, or “apps” as they are more commonly known, can help them answer general questions about their health, track their fitness activities and plan meals for the week.
At U.S. Cellular, we have a variety of cell phones to choose from to best meet each person’s needs, and our associates are available to help with any questions. St. Louis area seniors are invited to learn how to get the most out of their cell phones through one of U.S. Cellular’s free device workshops. These workshops, which are open to the public, are designed to help smartphone users learn the basic and advanced features of their device. Check out the locations, dates and times of the upcoming device workshops listed below and plan to join us for one. In little time, you can learn how your cell phone can enhance your life and make communicating with friends and family easy.
Upcoming U.S. Cellular device workshops
Saturday, May 21
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at its location in St. Louis Mills Mall
Saturday, May 28
8:00 – 10:00 a.m. at 3825 Veterans Memorial Parkway in St. Peters
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at 3481 Nameoki Road in Granite City and 654 Wesley Drive in Wood River
Michelle Groves is U.S. Cellular’s director of sales in the St. Louis area. U.S. Cellular is a national wireless carrier with 34 retail locations in the St. Louis region. U.S. Cellular was recently named a J.D. Power Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and was also recognized as one of Forbes Magazine’s 2010 “Most Trustworthy Companies.” To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.
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