5 Technology Tips for Seniors

Technology makes our lives better, more convenient and more connected. But it’s often easy to feel like we work for our smart devices and not the other way around. Check out these five technology tips for seniors to get the most out of their smartphones and tablets.

Stay Safe on the Internet

Use Strong Passwords

We live in a world of passwords—everything from our phones to our banks, to our TVs require them these days. To keep yourself and your information safe, it’s important to choose strong passwords. Remember to always choose unique passwords that don’t include easily identifiable details like your birthday or address. Strong passwords also include numbers and special characters (like $, !, and @). Internet security provider Norton has a good guide on how to pick a strong password.

Update Your Virus Protection

While most reputable websites are safe, there are still plenty of places on the internet where you can pick up a computer virus. However, we can’t be vigilant 100% of the time—that’s where anti-virus software comes in. Windows computers come preloaded with powerful anti-virus software with its Windows Defender product. Apple users have several free options as well. If you install anti-virus software, remember it’s only effective if it’s kept up to date, so be sure to enable its “auto-update” feature.

Make Your Phones & Tablets Smarter

Boost Your Text Size

For most of us, the default text on our smartphones and tablets is far too small to read comfortably. Thankfully smartphone manufacturers include settings to increase font size. Check the “Accessibility” section of your settings app for options to increase the font size, increase color contrast, and other settings that can make it easier to read information on the screen.

Try Easy Mode

Beyond boosting your text size, many smartphones come with an “easy mode” setting that strips away many of the advanced features of the phone, leaving behind just the essentials like calling and texting. Check your phone’s display settings to enable easy mode. For more tips on making your phone easier to use, check out Popular Science’s useful smartphone accessibility guide.

Use a Spam Call Blocker

Every year spammers cost U.S. consumers millions with their fraudulent activity. Calling us on our smartphones is one of the main ways these crooks get our attention. App developers have responded by introducing spam call blocking software that can drastically reduce the number of spam calls you get. RoboKiller, Truecaller, and Hiya – Caller ID & Block all provide effective spam blocking for a small monthly subscription fee.

Technology can make our lives easier, but only if we’re in control. EasyCall is your technology partner for personal emergencies. With EasyCall, you’re never further from help than the push of a button.

Seniors: Reap the Benefits of Yoga and Tai Chi

Tai Chi and yoga are great ways for seniors to stay active. Both deliver gentle activation of muscles, improve balance, and offer an invigorating, yet relaxing workout.

Tai Chi has a long history, and originally evolved from ancient yoga practices in India. Both exercises focus on concentration, breathing, and relaxed movements that encourage flexibility and resiliency.

Tai Chi and yoga are sometimes called meditation in motion. Meditation boosts both mental and physical health. Adding as little as 15 minutes of either exercise per week can lead to positive results. When the University of Illinois studied seniors with an average age of 80, researchers found improvements in balance, energy levels, flexibility, and sleep quality.

The Mayo Clinic has also found that simple exercises like yoga and Tai Chi can relieve chronic pain and anxiety, reduce falls, and help maintain healthy bone density. The benefits of exercise really do add up!

One of the best aspects of yoga and Tai Chi is the portability—you can perform these exercises anywhere. For seniors seeking more social interaction, yoga and Tai Chi classes are popular and many community centers, city parks and rec offices, and senior centers offer free or low-cost classes.

How To Stay Informed About Medication Recalls

Drug recalls are unfortunately common and it’s important to stay informed so you can be sure the medication you’re taking is safe and effective. So far in 2019 there have been recalls for labeling issues, medication mix-ups, and the discovery of life-threatening side effects.

Drug recalls are usually started voluntarily by the manufacturer, but sometimes the Federal Drug Administration steps in and initiates a recall.

Drug recalls range in seriousness, from the FDA’s Class 1 recalls, which are related to serious health problems, to the agency’s class 2 and 3 recalls. These have to do with manufacturing and labeling problems but aren’t necessarily life-threatening.

What Do I Do If My Medicine Has Been Recalled?

You might be tempted to stop taking a prescription medication that has been recalled, but that’s not the safest course of action. Remember, there are different classes of recalls, and some important prescription meds might only be recalled because of bad labeling. You always want to consult with your doctor to identify a suitable replacement drug. Stopping your prescription medication suddenly can lead to negative health effects.

In the case of an over-the-counter medication, you should stop taking it immediately if you find it’s been recalled. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a suitable replacement.

Stay Informed

The FDA posts all recalls on its website. Here are some quick links you can check for recall information:


Safely Dispose of Recalled Meds

If you find your medication has been recalled and you’ve checked with your doctor, the next step is to properly dispose of it. Today, most medications include instructions for safe disposal, but if you’re unsure, check out the FDA’s guide to throwing out medication.

Want to learn more? Check out Web MD’s guide to drug recalls.