Tech Talk, Part 2: Apple Watch for Seniors

In our previous Tech Talk blog post, we shared the benefits of Amazon Echo and how its Alexa technology can help enrich and enhance your lifestyle. Today, we’re sharing another piece of lifestyle technology that literally follows you wherever you go: the Apple Watch.

What Is the Apple Watch?

Remember the old Dick Tracy cartoons and his famous two-way radio watch? The Apple Watch takes that idea and runs with it for a 21st-century device that does more than just tell time: It’s a communication hub, a health and fitness tracker, a music player, a portable link to the internet, and so much more.

Originally released in 2015, the Apple Watch is now in Series 8 and has all-new features, including an electrocardiogram app, a temperature sensor, a heart rate sensor, a blood oxygen app, a sleep monitoring app, and more. These new features make it an especially useful device for seniors and their family members because it provides a next-level, immediate view into one’s health, fitness and safety.

How Can Apple Watches Help Seniors?

Most people use the Apple Watch for health and fitness (which Apple Watch models were originally designed for). As a fitness tracker, the Apple Watch has heart rate monitors, step trackers, and goal settings so that you can gamify your health and wellness.

The newest Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8’s echocardiogram app is a useful tool for seniors who may have heart issues. It has irregular heart rhythm notifications, as well as high and low heart rate notifications. It also provides information on your sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation, among others. The Apple Watch’s technology can store all this medical information, which makes it easy to upload real-time, accurate data to your doctor or caregiver.

Benefit for Seniors: Fall Detection

All Apple Watches have a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, which can detect falls – a very helpful feature for seniors who may have balance and mobility issues. When the watch detects a fall, it activates an Emergency SOS feature that can be dismissed within 60 seconds. If the message isn’t dismissed, the watch can automatically contact emergency services and share accurate, real-time locations so that medical professionals know exactly where to go to provide assistance.

Benefit for Seniors: Emergency SOS

The Apple Watch – like other Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad – includes an Emergency SOS feature that lets you quickly call 911 with just the press of a button. Seniors can also set up their watches to send a message to caregivers, family members, or other emergency contacts if an accident or emergency occurs.

senior woman checking her heart rate on her smart watch

Benefit for Seniors: Medical Alert

No longer do you need to wear a physical medical alert bracelet in the event of an emergency. The Apple Watch allows you to set up a Medical ID in the Health application. There, you can store information about allergies, medications, blood type, emergency contact numbers, and more. It’s a streamlined, easy-to-update feature that allows you to keep track of important health information.

Health Monitoring Options for Seniors and Caregivers

Beyond providing fitness monitoring and emergency service features, the Apple Watch has a variety of non-emergency trackers that can help seniors and their loved ones create health goals and monitor a variety of factors to determine trends and locate any issues.

Benefit for Seniors: Sleep Monitor

Getting a good night’s sleep is instrumental for cognitive health and overall wellness. The Apple Watch can record your sleep trends for the past 14 days, estimating how much time you spend in each sleep stage. You can also create bedtime schedules that help you meet your sleep and wellness goals.

Benefit for Caregivers: Check-Ins

The Apple Watch can allow loved ones and caregivers to check in on senior family members via free apps like ElderCheck Now. When this app is enabled, approved individuals can check their loved one’s heart rates and request check-ins through the Apple Watch. With just the press of a button, seniors can let their loved ones know that everything’s fine, providing peace and security for everyone involved without even having to make a phone call.

Benefit for Seniors: Medication Reminders

Using another free App, Mango Health, seniors can get medication and healthy habit reminders so they don’t have to worry about missing a dosage. Other apps like CareZone include features such as prescription medication deliveries and other time-saving options that allow seniors to live a little more independently.

woman using an apple watch for seniors

Benefit for Seniors: Connection and Entertainment

Of course, as with other lifestyle technologies like Amazon Alexa, the Apple Watch is plugged into all the benefits that you enjoy on your iPhone, iPad or Mac computer. With just a few taps, seniors can check the weather, read the news, watch funny cat videos, FaceTime grandkids, listen to music … the options are only limited by your imagination.

Enhance Your Lifestyle and Stay Connected at Waterstone of Westchester

There are so many ways that technology can assist people of all ages, and at Waterstone of Westchester, we’re always searching out the latest and greatest technologies to help enrich our residents’ lives. Beyond health and wellness, engagement and entertainment, programming and connection, we also provide in-person, caring support to help you or a loved one. Call us today to learn more about the technologically advanced and personalized caring we offer.