The best springtime technologies for seniors

With spring in the air and warmer weather bringing life to gardens and communities everywhere, many people are excited to start spending more quality time outside, being social and active. There are several technology tools available free of charge that can help everyone enjoy the sunshine and beautiful nature that’s been hiding under snow all winter.

Now that waiting outside doesn’t involve shivering in full winter attire, public transportation like buses and taxis are getting more popular, especially for seniors living in convenient, central retirement communities, where you don’t really need a car. Bus schedules, maps, and even online service bookings are easy to do if you have access to a computer with the Internet.

Spring has arrivedEvery city has its own transit website. To find yours, visit and search for the city’s name and state followed by the words “bus schedule” or “transit”, if you’re looking for trains too. Remember… when using Google, search results displayed in a yellow box (near the top of the list) are paid advertisements and may not be the most relevant option. Read a little before you start clicking.

If you’re an active person, warm weather means walks and jogs in the great outdoors. With today’s amazing technologies, even this experience can be enhanced by a gadget with an Internet connection, like an iPhone or Android smartphone.

There are many fitness Apps available to inform and motivate users while helping track physical activity. For instance, the Nike+ App helps avid “movers” track their distance, speed, and geographical location, with the help of a GPS. You can track this information over time, so you can compare your statistics at different points in the season to see how well you’ve improved!

After a month of using the App while you walk, hike, or run, you will have a collection of maps that illustrate where you went, at what points you were moving fast versus slow along your path, and how long your trip was. Advanced users can connect the App wirelessly to a gadget that is available in some Nike running shoes, allowing you to monitor your heart rate, calories burned and other body based measurements. What a great tool for anyone trying to improve their physical health.

Don’t forget… Apps that use the Internet consume data, which you pay for monthly on your smartphone. Don’t use more data than you purchase each month, or you’ll get stung with heightened fees and a hefty bill.

The library is another great place to visit in the spring. In additional to the amazing resources and e-books available, they are also an incredible source of educational programing within the community. Library’s typically have their own websites that can easily be found using Google. When looking for anything on Google, be as specific as possible with your search terms. For example, if I were searching in Toronto, I would include “Toronto Ontario Library” as my search terms. This ensures the information Google finds for you is as relevant as possible.

If you’re not a technology user, please check out a free program in your neighborhood to get you started. Computer technologies, including laptops, tablets, and call phones are important tools in our modern world. It’s essential that everyone has a basic understanding of what they are, how to use them, and why they can make daily life better. Give it a try!