Seniors and Social Isolation: 5 Health Benefits of Cell Phone Ownership in the COVID-19 Era

COVID-19 has ravaged the lives of the old and young alike. Despite the demographic-wide devastation, senior citizens are at an increased risk of contracting the disease and experiencing long-term effects compared to younger generations (barring at-risk individuals). Because elderly communities are high-risk, careful quarantining and social distancing measures are essential to COVID-free living. Unfortunately, more stringent stay-at-home orders have caused many seniors to feel isolated, leading to depleted mental health. 

However, seniors can stave off the effects of loneliness through frequent, meaningful contact with loved ones. New ways to communicate, like video calling, can be an excellent way to maintain a connection with older family members and friends. However, some seniors struggle with digital adaptations, preferring to stick to familiar conversation methods like personal cells. 

A personal cell phone for a senior means help and comfort is only a call away. Encourage the elders in your life to choose a senior-friendly flip phone, like those available through Lively Direct, to be sure you can contact your aging parent or grandparent with the touch of a button. Not only will the seniors in your life have all the benefits of a regular telephone, but new-and-improved models allow application installation and customizable features to help ease seniors into the digital age. 

If your elderly loved one has expressed feelings of isolation and loneliness, suggest they purchase a senior-friendly device to connect with friends and family instantly. Here are some additional benefits to cell phone ownership. 

Access to advantageous health apps

Smartphones offer various health-tracking applications and notification settings for medication, enabling seniors to take control of their physical health. Some downloadable apps track chronic conditions, while other applications grant users an inside look into their mental well-being. Not to mention, a senior’s smartphone can serve as a repository for essential emergency information related to allergies, blood type, and prescriptions. 

Utilizing play to aid mental agility

Seniors suddenly have a lot of time on their hands, now that social interaction and other daily routines have been disrupted. Fortunately, smartphones act as Digital-Age gateways to games that can help sharpen the mind, mitigating dementia symptoms and improving mental health. For those idle seniors, there are limitless applications available on the app store, from puzzles to sudoku to daily brain games.  

Create connection

A senior-friendly mobile phone can help mitigate the social isolation that quarantine can intensify. Social interaction plays a critical role in a senior citizen’s overall health, and many seniors are learning first-hand how devastating feelings of loneliness can be. Luckily, smartphones can connect isolated seniors to their loved ones, allowing them to chat and catch up without face-to-face contact, helping stave off adverse isolation effects. 

Smart fitness tracking

Tracking physical activity—like steps and stand time—is virtually effortless with a smartphone in hand. These mobile devices can gather vital information that may fall off a forgetful senior’s radar and store it in a handy health app where seniors can check-up on day-to-day stats, set goals, and watch for inconsistencies. 

Help is a button away

With a smartphone, emergencies don’t have to be devastating. If a senior slips or becomes injured, they can press the assistance button, and emergency personnel will be en-route. Additionally, built-in safety features grant seniors peace of mind knowing help is right within reach. 

Parting shot

Smartphones provide seniors with access to more than basic call capabilities. Connection to loved ones, entertainment, and various health tools, like physical activity trackers and mentally stimulating games, are a button press away.

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