Today, a completely different elderly population profile is rising compared to a few years ago! Those who do not miss technology from their daily life, communicate with their acquaintances via social media on smart phones, send clips, flowers, cakes in the virtual environment, make new friendships, do not feel excluded from social life due to their age, in short. sohbet who do not look into the eyes of their grandchildren and children in order to Acıbadem Dr. Sinasi Can (Kadıköy) Hospital Internal Medicine, Geriatrics Specialist Prof. Dr. Berrin Karadağ states that being in technology, especially during the two-year pandemic period, provides great benefits to the elderly in terms of mental and physical health.
Emphasizing that although it cannot replace one-to-one communication, today technology has taken a strong and permanent place in life as a part of active aging. Dr. Berrin Karadağ says: “Digital technology has an important role in the socialization of elderly individuals. Elderly individuals are trying to adapt to the innovations in technology day by day and the rate of technology usage is increasing day by day. Although they are concerned about the use of technology, digital technology facilitates their daily lives in every field from communication to health problems, helps them to live an independent life and to have an active aging period. In this way, a happy old age should be aimed at a healthy and strong age that is self-confident, continues to enjoy life and is not afraid of losing its place in society.”
prof. Dr. Berrin Karadağ, in his statement within the scope of the 18-24 March National Week for the Elderly, explained the 4 important benefits of technology to the elderly, and made important warnings and suggestions.
As the age progresses, the number of people with whom the person's social environment, work environment, peers, friends, etc. with whom they share their life decreases. The mental state caused by social isolation causes worsening of health problems and a significant decrease in quality of life. However, technology can contribute to the happiness of the elderly who are healthy or have health problems. Meeting with their loved ones, family and grandchildren via social media and sharing their daily activities provide great benefits especially during the last 2 years of pandemic period. We see that the increase in video call programs, mobile phones and internet use makes the elderly person happy, increases their communication and positively affects their social interaction.
Medical technology is taking very important steps in this regard. Thanks to the electronic communication systems established between doctors, nurses and other health personnel, as healthcare professionals, with their patients, they can be directed to important issues, especially elderly patients, even from a distance, and this situation also provides benefits especially for individuals with mobility limitations. Monitoring and evaluation of the elderly person in their natural environment using technology; It is thought that it may also be beneficial in reducing frequent hospital admissions and in controlling the stress that may occur due to waiting in line at the hospital, transportation, and the hospital environment.
Especially the internet and social media make a significant contribution as a means of socialization for the elderly. In this way, while the elderly do not lag behind in following events and world news about society and the environment, they can also feel that they are actively involved in society and communities. Again, thanks to digital technology, they can easily do many things in many areas such as money transfers, bill payments and cultural activities.
With aging, introversion, withdrawal from every job, uselessness, alienation from social life and innovations, and loss of self-confidence can occur as a result of these. As physical performance declines with age, older individuals get their jobs done by request from their younger children or acquaintances. The self-confidence of the elderly, who do not stay away from the rapid development in technology, increases. The design of attractive and useful products for the elderly and the more effective use of technological options improve the quality of life of the elderly and contribute to their social adaptation.
Security is very important in technology!
prof. Dr. Berrin Karadağ stated that safety plays a key role not only in the use and production of technology, but also in the execution of social services: “Since health is the primary factor in the care of the elderly, safety is an integral part of this factor. It is necessary to take measures to ensure safety, especially in matters such as drug use, routine controls, psychological support, physical protection, and fulfillment of physical needs. Especially for the elderly living alone, we see that there are applications for security monitoring systems, accelerometer-based wearable sensors to detect fall, smoke and heat sensors to detect and prevent abnormal situations. It is necessary to aim to use these advances in technology for a free, comfortable and self-confident life. Elderly individuals who live alone and have forgetfulness or limitation of movement can be supported in terms of maintaining a healthy and safe life, daily living activities and safety can be created with alarm systems that can be used or informed in emergencies.