Today, October 29, is the celebration of the world’s first internet transmission. While for most of us, it’s hard to imagine a world without the net, older Australians might need a little encouragement to use it to its full advantage. We take a look at five ways getting online could help your older loved ones live a little easier.
Support at their fingertips
An online platform that provides access to a community of independent support workers, Mable creates a safety net of flexible, affordable community-based support – all which can be arranged online. Whether it’s help around the house, with meal preparation or transport, or personal care from an experienced aged care professional or nurse, you can select the services that work for your family. And your parents can browse the profiles of independent support workers and choose them directly, so they always know who’s coming to their door and when.
Meals delivered to their door
Ordering groceries online is a great way to enable your parents to retain control, even when mobility is an issue. If they have an ipad, you can download apps to the home screen for their local supermarket so they can browse the selection and place an order at their convenience. For meal delivery services, Choice’s comparison article is a great place to start to see the differences between services currently on the market.
Staying in touch with the world
As we get older and less able to get out into our community, our world can feel smaller. Access to favourite news sites can help parents feel connected to what’s going on in their community and the world at large. If they’re not big readers, subscriptions to podcasts on their favourite topics, news sites or current affairs can deliver news and entertainment that’s tailored just for them.
Say what you will about social networking sites, for some people they can be a lifeline and for older people, often a great way to keep in touch with family. If your parents have an aversion to Facebook, messaging apps like WhatsApp or Viber can be a great way to keep the conversation going when you can’t be there. If you have family and friends who live far away, Skype can allow you to chat the ‘old-fashioned way’ – and see each other face to face.
The internet of things (IOT)
We recently wrote about the ways you can make your house a smart home, with a range of technology tools designed to support independent living. According to aginginplace.com, IOT refers to a device that can connect to the internet to send and receive information. Practical, everyday uses include turning on a light or changing the temperature in the room. Healthcare devices like a smart watch can monitor glucose levels for diabetics, while internet-enabled pill boxes can ensure the right medications are taken at the right time.
Where to find the help you need
If you need a little outside influence to get your folks online, check your state or territory’s website (like this one from Queensland Government) for a list of resources and courses designed for seniors. Organisations like Telstra and Apple also provide resources and workshops for people who would like to become more tech-savvy.
Interested in finding someone from the Mable community to visit and help with computer literacy? Sign up for free and post a job today to see who’s available in your local area.